Algeria's pick in the Oscar race forest Foreign-Language film is a wounding indictment of discrimination in the trenches.ndigenes (the French title, meaning "Natives") is set during the lastears of World War II. Equality and fraternity fell by the wayside when it came o the North African soldiers who joined France in fighting the Nazis through Italynd Provence. These Algerian Arabs were merely straw dogs to their bigoted Frenchuperiors. Director and co-writer Rachid Bouchareb, born in Paris to Algerian immigrants,nows these racial tensions are still simmering. And in this wallop of a war moviee makes you feel the heat. The superb cast, including Sami Bouajila, Jamel Debbouze, Roschdy Zem, Samy Naceri and Bernard Blancan, who plays their sergeant, shared theest Actor prize in Cannes. The tribute is apt and inspiring. And there's morecing on the cake. Bouchareb's film helped shame the French government into aising pensions for more than 80,000 of these veterans. Here's that rare moviehat really did change things. I'll be damned.
From The Archives Issue 116: August 31, 1972