Missed opportunities diminish the impact of a fascinating historical period

Days Of Glory (indigenes)

on September 09, 2006 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
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The fascinating true story of North African Arabs who fought for their French colonizers in World War II is given superficial treatment in Rachid Bouchard's disappointing epic war drama. Caught between deep resentment of the French and a genuine desire to stop the Nazis, four Arab men enlist in the French army. There they experience racism and condescension even as they prove themselves in battle. Indigenes should be a provocative look at an emotionally complicated situation, but it only cuts skin deep. The central figures in the film are types--the militant, the shy one, etc.--rather than fully fleshed-out creations, and interesting characters, such as a Frenchwoman who becomes romantically involved with one of the Arab men, are barely remarked upon. The film also conveniently omits the fact that many other Arabs, because of political and/or anti-Semitic beliefs, supported the Germans. That smoothing out of complex issues makes Indigenes more of a simple crowd pleaser than a genuinely challenging film experience. Distributor: Weinstein
Cast: Jamel Debbouze, Samy Naceri, Sami Bouajila and Roshdy Zem
Director: Rachid Bouchard
Screenwriter: Asger Leth
Producers: Olivier Lorelle and Rachid Bouchareb
Genre: Drama; French- and Arabic-language, subtitled
Rating: Not yet rated
Running time: 120 min.
Release date: December 15, 2006 NY/LA
Tags: Cast, Jamel Debbouze, Samy Naceri, Sami Bouajila and Roshdy Zem Director: Rachid Bouchard Screenwriter: Asger Leth Producers, Olivier Lorelle, Rachid Bouchareb, Genre, Drama, Weinstein
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