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The Ethics of Killing Civilians, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 530

Essay

Terrorist bombings occur in multiple scenes and places in the film. How and why did the FLN utilize these attacks, and how does the film present the ethics of killing civilians? Compare the use of terrorism here with other examples in modern world history

In my opinion, the ethics of killing civilians in the film is presented as justified. While the film appears to come across as a documentary style piece, there are clear themes that stay consistent throughout that reveal the film’s underlying narrative and a subtle implication of the FLN as being the heroes, or protagonists, which the French colonials as the antagonists. The main motive behind the multiple bombings is presented in the film as being a last resort by Arab Algerians against French occupation of their land and the oppression of their culture and religion. The reason this comes across as a last resort is due to the fact that the FLN lack comparable resources to the paratroopers or the infrastructure and social control of the French police.

The atrocity of the bombings is not lost on the viewer. It can be seen both in the city and in the ghettos where the Arab’s are housed. While there the film presents FLN’s acts of terrorism and the retaliations by the French police and paratroopers as being both in the wrong, FLN’s acts seem to be much more aggressive and atrocious in respect to their impact on the innocent. Despite this, the sentiment of the film seems to present FLN as the protagonists; due the fact that earlier in the film when conflicts first start to arise between the Arab Algerians and the French police, harsh prejudice develops by French Algerians towards Arab citizen. Subtle acts of prejudice, such as the Frenchman who randomly trips Ali la Pointe (in the beginning of the film) all the way to French mobs brutally beating up innocent little children in response to the developing conflict, seem to serve as an ethical justification for the ideological behavior of the FLN.

When comparing the use of terrorism in this film with examples in modern history the first example that clearly comes to mind is 9/11 just in regards to the intended impact the terrorist meant to have on the peace of mind of daily citizens as a whole as well as the fact that there were three intended targets. The bombing in the film is also a triple bombing. The main difference between FLN’s attacks and the 9/11 attacks would have to be the use of explosives. In this respect, the triple bombing in Battle of Algiers is similar to the most recent triple bombing in Baghdad on February 27th 2014, That killed 30 people and injured 70 others. Just like in the film, bombs were placed in three separate public locations in the city so it could not be mistaken as a random accident. This idea is depicted in the film during the triple bombing scene as well, when the first bomb goes off in a diner, a witness in nearby dance club (where the second bomb is placed), assumes it was just the result of a gas leak, until the second bomb detonates.

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