Days of Glory (Indigenes)
Time period: 1944-1945. The liberation of Italy, Provence, the Alps, the Rhone Valley, the Vosges and Alsace marked vital stages in the Allied victory. And, in the place that France was able to take among the Allies following the Armistice. This victorious and bloody march on Germany was carried out by the 1st French Army, recruited in Africa to sidestep the German occupiers and the officials of the Vichy regime: 200,000 men, including 130,000 "natives" comprising 110,000 North Africans and 20,000 Black African. The rest of the force was made up of French North Africans and of young Frenchmen who had fled the Occupation. This is the forgotten story of the so-called "native" soldiers.
Release Date: February 23, 2007
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It's a little disheartening to see a World War II movie like "Days of Glory (Indigenes)" close with a present-day sequence. That sequence is a needless gimmick for a film that isn't very gimmicky, and such a moment has become a cliche after a slew of like-minded wartime dramas have tried to emulate the success of "Saving Private Ryan." However, a somewhat clunky ending isn't enough to ruin "Days of Glory," which features some good performances and has a slightly different take on a much-filmed subject. This drama looks at Arab and African men who fought for France during the war, as Algerians join French forces in an attempt to free the country from Nazi occupation. Despite their heroism, the volunteer soldiers encounter racial discrimination and other forms of hostility from their French counterparts, of all people. Co-screenwriter/director Rachid Bouchareb is smart to narrow his focus to a handful of characters, four real-life friends (played by French-Arab actors Sami Bouajila, Jamel Debbouze, Samy Naceri and Roschdy Zem). It's hard not to get sucked in by this story. The format of "Days of Glory" which recalls the equally effective "Big Red One" generates some real suspense and genuinely moving drama. Of the main characters, Debbouze, as mama's-boy Said, is the most sympathetic. However, veteran French actor Benoit Giros is very watchable as their commanding officer, despite the character's moral deficiencies. "Days of Glory (Indigenes)" is rated R for strong scenes of war violence (shootings, a stabbing and some vehicular and explosive mayhem), some gore and blood, suggestive talk, use of mild profanity (religiously based) and slurs based on ethnicity and race, and glimpses of nude artwork (paintings and statues). Running time: 118 minutes. E-MAIL: email@example.comMarch 23rd, 2007 · Details
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