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Algerian Brothers Reunite in Paris, Outrage Still Burning

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    Algerian Brothers Reunite in Paris, Outrage Still Burning
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    November 03, 2010

    “Outside the Law,”  Rachid Bouchareb’s sweeping historical melodrama of the Algerian struggle for independence , proceeds from a still-burning sense of outrage. With its mixture of righteous politics and family turmoil, this didactic, unashamedly manipulative film wants to be something like a cross between “Army of Shadows,”  Jean-Pierre Melville ’s 1969 classic of the French Resistance, and “The Godfather.”

    Those are mighty shoes to fill, and as powerful and well made as it is, “Outside the Law” is too schematic and single-minded to lodge itself in your mind as a fully realized cinematic epic. Its few female characters are sketchy at best. It is all politics, all the time.

    From that perspective, Mr. Bouchareb, whose acclaimed 2006 film, “Days of Glory” (“Indigènes”),  tracked a group of World War II infantrymen from North Africa, uses every resource at his disposal to lend “Outside the Law”  the clout of a heroic war movie and multigenerational family saga. But a certain humanity is missing. Some might describe “Outside the Law” as a historical revenge film.

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Anonymous's picture
on November 03, 2010

“Outside the Law,”  Rachid Bouchareb’s sweeping historical melodrama of the Algerian struggle for independence , proceeds from a still-burning sense of outrage. With its mixture of righteous politics and family turmoil, this didactic, unashamedly manipulative film wants to be something like a cross between “Army of Shadows,”  Jean-Pierre Melville ’s 1969 classic of the French Resistance, and “The Godfather.”

Those are mighty shoes to fill, and as powerful and well made as it is, “Outside the Law” is too schematic and single-minded to lodge itself in your mind as a fully realized cinematic epic. Its few female characters are sketchy at best. It is all politics, all the time.

From that perspective, Mr. Bouchareb, whose acclaimed 2006 film, “Days of Glory” (“Indigènes”),  tracked a group of World War II infantrymen from North Africa, uses every resource at his disposal to lend “Outside the Law”  the clout of a heroic war movie and multigenerational family saga. But a certain humanity is missing. Some might describe “Outside the Law” as a historical revenge film.