"This morning's press screening of Days of Glory
], by French/Algerian director Rachid Bouchareb
, was greeted with grand applause," writes Fabien Lemercier
. "Featuring four top actors - Jamel Debbouze
, Roschdy Zem
, Sami Bouajila
and Samy Nacéri
- the moving war epic reveals the truth behind a dark event in French history: the active participation of North Africa soldiers during the 1944-1945 Liberation from Fascism and Nazism."
in the Hollywood Reporter
: "Days of Gory
makes no departures from previous war films, but the tensions between the French commanders and the indigenous troops - and the conflicts among themselves over how best to respond to provocations - gives the film its dramatic punch."
's Geoff Andrew
: "While in many ways it can be seen simply as a maghrebi version of Band of Brothers
, the refusal to reduce the characters to black-and-white ciphers do ensure that we are caught up in the movie as drama rather than as a polemical rewriting of history; the robust but subtle performances of a fine cast help out no end in this respect too."
"While Days of Glory
is emphatic, it is far from heavy-handed, and the problem it addresses is hardly one that ended with the liberation of France (or, for that matter, of Algeria)," writes AO Scott
in the New York Times
. "You only have to think back to the riots of last autumn - or walk the streets of Cannes outside the festival perimeter - to see that the tensions between France's republican ideals and its social realities have, if anything, grown more acute in the generations since 1945."
: "At last, on Day 9 of the Cannes Film Festival, an old-fashioned real movie, with a beginning, middle and end, characters, a story, and a powerful message." Commentary: Mike D'Angelo
"[U]nquestionably a powerful film shedding light on a dark corner of French history," writes Salon
's Andrew O'Hehir
. "With the right handling, upscale Americans could become interested."
Updates, 5/28: Jason Solomons
in the Observer
: "I admired the frill-free way it told its story and it beats with such a humane heart that it can proudly take its place alongside more artful French war classics such as Tavernier
's Life and Nothing But
, François Dupeyron
's Officer's Ward
and even Louis Malle
's Au Revoir Les Enfants
's Fabien Lemercier
Posted by dwhudson at May 25, 2006 9:19 AM