ALGERIA: Outside the Law (2010)

Another great recommendation from Lamine at Bahdja Market, Outside the Law is a 2010 Franco-Algerian movie following three brothers who end up in France in the 50s after losing half their family in the 1945 Sétif Massacre. The film follows their transformation – two of them into leaders of the Algerian resistance in France, and the other into a speakeasy owner and boxing promoter. As the Algerian War grows, the brothers bring the fight to France, including orchestrating assassinations and terrorist attacks, with a tense cat-and-mouse game with the French police.

It’s a fast, violent movie, thematically similar to the Battle of Algiers, but reframed as a gangster movie. Like the Battle of Algiers half a century before, Outside the Law was well received internationally and critically, except in France, where it unsurprisingly proved extremely controversial – particularly as it draws parallels between the Algerian independence movement and the French Resistance in WWII.

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