Kathryn Bigelow’s intense, controversial new docu-drama DETROIT owes no small debt to Gillo Pontecorvo’s intense, controversial 1966 film THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS, which covers another volatile historical moment with a potent mixture of newsreel-style realism and expressionistic fervor. In this half of our comparison of the two films, we discuss what makes BATTLE OF ALGIERS such an unsettling and resonant film, debate what point it’s making around the issues of terrorism and torture, and, somehow, find the echoes of Pontecorvo’s film in James Cameron’s AVATAR. Plus, a listener takes us up on our request for feedback on “anything else film-related” with a fruitful prompt on unadaptable adaptations.
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