Avoir 20 ans dans les Aurès (To Be Twenty in the Aures) (1972)
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Audience Reviews for Avoir 20 ans dans les Aurès (To Be Twenty in the Aures)
During the Algerian War, the French authorities figure the best thing to do with its draft resisters is to ship them to the Sahara, and shown some discipline by Lieutenant Perrin(Philippe Leotard). According to him it is kind of a glass half full kind of situation for them, since if they stick with him, they might be running things soon enough and can then dictate policy to their hearts' desire. After a skirmish that results in one prisoner(Hamid Djellouli) being taken, two enemy combatants being killed(actualy two women but don't tell anyone), and one of the platoon being killed while Teacher(Yves Branellec) is shot in the leg, Perrin tells his men that as a veteran of Indochina(and probably every other French colonial war), he was holding all the cards all along. While it is probably possible to be an atheist in a foxhole, the same cannot be held true for pacifists, as these one time draft resisters find out the hard way, as they now follow orders, kill indiscriminately and even rape. There are exceptions to this and every other rule but sometimes naivete can be just as deadly. All of which(based on hundreds of hours of interviews with former soldiers) is detailed quite nicely in a variety of genres, including black comedy and even music(I was humming one of the songs as I left the theater), with bits of documentary footage thrown in for good measure. In the end, the lack of production values in "To Be Twenty in the Aures" does not matter as much as it ordinarily would, as the message still gets across.
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