Film Critique #2 Indigenes
This film tells a story about four African soldiers, Said, Ardelaker, Messaoud and Yassir, who fought for France in World War II. As the film going on, audiences start to know the little-known history about Indigenes through these four African soldiers’ life story.
They joined the war for various reasons. Said joined the war to survive. As he said he is “from total poverty”, and he at least can have something to eat in the army. Yassir joined the army for money. During the battle he was busy to pick up watches and other belongings of died German soldiers. Ardelaker and Messaoud joined the war for the loyalty to France, just as most of other African soldiers. They want to fight for France; even this is the ...view middle of the document...
Ardelaker had a fight with his officer, but it not just because of a tomato, he want to be treat equally as his “French brother”. Ironically, after that, they heard the news of the victory from the radio, and they proudly sang the French national anthem together with their “French brothers”. It is pathetic because France does not and will never treat them as “own children”, and they just using their patriotism to fight for France.
This film portrays this discrimination and self-recognition of African soldiers in many times. For example, they never got promotion no matter how loyal and brave they were during the battle, because the military only give promotion to French soldiers. The mail office refused to delivery Messaoud’s letter to his girlfriend, because they read his letter and found out he was in relationship with a French woman. But they still have faith in France. Like Said said to a French woman after a short victory, “I free a country that I have never seen, but it’s my country.” Also, in the last battle Ardelaker decided to hold the position until another French army arrived, even their French officers were all died. He said, “The war will give us the same rights of French brother. If we need to pay ten, one hundreds times, we pay, and they will recognize us for it.”
All these scenes portray their personal struggle of their self-recognition in detail, and also show audience about their patriotism and kindness. The director tries to lead audience to two questions through the whole film, what does it mean to be a citizen of a nation, and is it worth to fight for a country that not recognize you? The film did not give us an answer. But this history will never fade; the courage and patriotism of North African soldiers will be remembered.