The Battle of Algiers

A fictional film that uses Italian neorealist techniques to mimic documentary style footage. The other film, Waltz with Bashir,
blends traditional documentary form with animation to create a nightmarish meditation on memory and
institutional/personal amnesia of war. You are also going to be reading a lecture by Svetlana Alexievich as she
explains her motivations behind capturing the Soviet and post-Soviet soul through her own hybrid work. (The
essay can be found on pages 6-19 in the document. )
1) Does the switch from Rotoscoped to documentary footage at the end of Waltz with Bashir undercut the
power/rhetoric of the animated medium? Does it show its limitations? Or does the break successfully shock the
viewer out of a dreamlike state produced by the film? Why or why not?
2) Do you agree or disagree with the notion of this film being in the ‘shooting and crying’ genre? Does this film
privilege the suffering of the shooter over the suffering of the victim?
3) In a world where suffering is wonton, quotidian, and often banal due to the easy accessibility of video news
footage, does neo-realism or the hybrid style of Alexievich stand a chance? In other words, the mission is to
shock the reader/viewer into collective action against injustice through fictional techniques that borrow from
documentary. Do these styles still matter in the face of easy accessibility to violence?

Sample Solution