Days of Glory
The director and screenwriter of this film are Rachid Bouchareb and Oliver Morello respectively. They produced a film that showed the contribution the North American Soldiers made by fighting in France against the Nazis in the World War II. The Arabs fought for France, their native nation which set the emotionally-charging drama seen in the rest of the film. Starring in the movie are Jamel Debbouze, Bernard Blancan, Sami Bouajila and Samy Naceri. In the bid to break the powerful 1943 grip by Hitler that lasted three long years, France recruited African armies, comprised of 130,000 North Americans, who were committed to place their life at risk in order to because the downfall of the death machine that was Nazi into a bottomless pit.
However, regardless of their remarkable sacrifices, the French dubbed themselves contemptuously as natives. They dreamt that one day, they would visit their country which they had fought for from afar. However, in the end, their selfless efforts were transcended by their superior contemptuous disregard for the services offered by these soldiers. Their soldiers provided invaluable aid in the darkest hours of the world. The historical context of the movie dates back to 1944-45. During the liberation of the Alps, Italy, the Rhone Valley, the Vosges and the Province marked the deadliest stages in the allied triumph.
France was in the position to take allies following the Armistice. The first French Army they recruited from Africa executed the bloody and triumphant demonstration on the German Nazis and helped circumvent the German officials and occupiers of the Vichly regime. Approximately 130,000 African soldiers were part of the French troops with the remainder of the troops was made up of young French soldiers who fled from the profession. Often, this film reminds views of the story that is forgotten of “native” French soldiers. The North Africans, Arabs especially believed they were natives of France and they were fighting the Germans for France they believed to be fighting for their country. The French superiors however, betrayed them in their hour of need. This is the message passed all through the film (Jeffries 1).
The director of the film is Rachid Bouchareb. He was born in Paris, France to Algerian parents. He is well known for producing art that is thought provoking, by challenging multiculturalism and philosophies of immigration. The ways through which ethnic differences and culture play out in different societies in historical periods comes out clearly in his art pieces. For example, in the film, Days of Glory, he depicts the kind of discrimination that goes on in the Free French Forces to the North African Soldiers. The soldiers from North America received 2nd class citizenship despite sacrifices they made in the fight for their “native” county. The film also fits the philosophy through the manner in which discrimination continues through the setting.
There is a distress portrayal of discriminations and injustices that were enforced against African soldiers from Tunisia and Algeria in one of their exploits. In one of these episodes, it is clear that the North African soldiers but nothing more than cannon fodders used by commanding officers to be on the battlefront. Rachid Bouchareb presents suffering of the soldiers go through an the kind of deep discriminatory military institution, which offers a prism through which we can look at discrimination immigrants in modern France have to go through. As such, his films, especially The Days of Glory, had public discourse in the French forums, which helped in bringing about changes to the manner the French natives looked upon the North African veterans (Jeffries 1).
Rachid Bouchareb uses cinematographic techniques in order to portray the message he wants viewers to perceive in the best manner possible. He uses powerful drama, which shines a light into the North African soldiers, fighting for the Free France after D-Day. The piece of art in itself is not a masterpiece, it entertains and the characters are well established from the start to the end of the film. Thought it can be predictable at times, the most important and notable thing about the film is ripples it creates as well as the impacted created in minds of French people who saw the film. It is worth noting that immediately after release of the film, the French government made an agreement for the first time to begin paying compensation to remnant widows that North African fighters left behind. Hollywood film style, though, is different in some aspects. For instance, it failed to merge French, English and Arabic at the same time and in the same film. However, the film shows Arabs speaking in Arabic while slapping or fighting someone (Todd 1).
African films do not follow similar formulas as those by Hollywood film maker style. They are stories telling of something valuable, informative and not products that are for selling only. They are part of informative entertainment teaching the society about their value. African directors produce films challenging conventional ideas of cinemas by drawing global themes, cosmopolitan scripts and local legends. Products of African films are issues affecting local and ordinary people on a daily basis. Rachid Bouchareb produced a similar theme regarding an issue affecting international and local immigrants to France on a daily basis. The film is about discrimination African soldier went through as they offer their services to the military France. He produced a film that was thoughtful that moved the France government to start paying compensation to remnant widows the African soldiers left behind.
The major question that made me interested in research of the movie is the relationship France had to Muslims. Majority of the Arabs in North African countries are Muslims an anytime Muslims are fighting, it is never a simple war. Possibly, this was part of the reason France recruited the Muslims so they could fight with all they had. What is more, the rest of the European countries did not have as many Muslims as France, yet they were closer to them. As a matter of fact, majority of Arabs in North African countries claimed they were French notices. Additionally, Muslims believed in Liberty, Equity and Fraternity which, are aspects lacking in the film. The question therefore remains on the kind of relationship French had with the Muslims from North Africa.
The film Days of Glory is a depiction of some realities that are happening to humanity throughout the globe which tend to be forgotten by people too soon. An example is the role played by African-Americans in the making of the nation that is now the United States of America. During Second World War, African-Americans were at the forefront of the military battle, an advantage they did not have initially, to the point they redeemed the nation. The country has been in a state where Whites do not favor the Black man as the president despite the role the Blacks made in making it the nation it currently is.
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Todd, Andrew. “Sotigui Koyaté Obituary.” The Guardian, 2 May 2010. Web. 13 Oct. 2010.
Jeffries, Stuart. “Rachid Bouchareb: My Film about the 7/7 London Bombings.” The Guardian, 6 July 2010. Web. 13 Oct. 2010.