France-Algeria war film sparks Cannes protest

21st May 2010, Comments 0 comments

An explosive thriller about militants fighting in France for Algerian independence screened at the Cannes film festival Friday, in a bitter attack on France's colonial history.

The far-right National Front party planned a march in Cannes on Friday to protest against "Outside Of The Law" by French-Algerian film-maker Rachid Bouchareb, who they accused of distorting history.

The film tells the story of Algerian brothers driven from their home as children by French colonialists who grow up to mount an armed resistance movement in France.

Opening with a massacre of Algerian civilians by French soldiers in the town of Setif in 1945 -- a controversial historical event which some critics say has been misrepresented -- the film is one of very few cinematic treatments of the conflict.

On top of the National Front protest, the mayor of Cannes, Bernard Brochand from President Nicolas Sarkozy's rightwing UMP party, was to hold a ceremony in the town for what he called the "French victims" of the Algerian war and of the events in Setif.

© 2010 AFP

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