Gillo Pontecorvo’s searing documentary-style retelling (1965) of the tough, grinding, and ultimately tragic effort of the FLN to liberate Algeria. Pontecorvo has nearly accomplished the impossible: to make an epic film that convinces the viewer he is watching the real thing. Although the director’s sympathies (with the rebels) are never in doubt, the film is tough-minded and fair; the cast (nonprofessional with the exception of Jean Martin as the paratroop colonel) is superb; the editing and the overall production are deft but not slick—in sum, a knockout. In French and Arabic with subtitles.