For the most part, I knew a lot about the historical events surrounding the Battle of Algiers, largely due to firstly my interest in the history of European colonialism (not just in Africa, but predominantly Asia) and secondly both my partner and former housemates are Algerian, and their grandparents are all veterans of the revolution, so they would at times tell me stories about their bravery and life under French rule. However, what I learned from the film is that the Algerian revolution was not an all-out war involving sieges and carpet bombings of whole cities, like in Syria.
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Memories are generally constructed by one’s experiences of certain events, such as wars, natural disasters etc. Having firsthand experience is one of the best ways of understanding history, as we will know the graphic details of certain events, such as the Sabra and Shatila massacre through the eyes of Ari Folman and his former comrades.
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