By Michael F. O'Riley
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Additional resources for Cinema in an Age of Terror: North Africa, Victimization, and Colonial History
This retrospective gaze directed toward the experience of the occupation has been qualiﬁed as a nationalist vision steeped in tones of nostalgia and characterized as a fetishization of national memory. For Rousso and Eric Conan the prominence even of diverse and competing memories of the occupation signals “la sacralisation de la mémoire de la dernière guerre mondiale” (the sacralization of the memory of the last world war) and deﬁnes national memory by its “caractère paralysant” (paralyzing character) (44, 21).
The plo, Hamas, and other [Arab] groups are indebted to the Algerian strategy. ” Identiﬁcations such as these of a pan-Arab terrorism originating in Algeria suggest a disavowal of Western terrorism in the form of colonial invasion and occupation, not to mention the practices of French torture clearly depicted in Pontecorvo’s ﬁlm. To characterize common Algerian and Iraqi resistance to Western occupation in their own countries as terrorism is to posit a Western proprietary right to colonial territory, as if Algerian and Iraqi citizens were never there before Western arrival.
The images of a common terrorist character or type, whether within the context of anticolonial struggle or Iraqi insurgency, unite the understanding of the two geographical and political contexts and elide important historical distinctions. Ultimately, statements such as those found in Kaufman’s report of the Pentagon’s invitation to view “clandestine terrorists in places like Algeria and Iraq” suggest not only the concealed, ebullient nature of Arab terrorism but also the RE S US CI TATI NG THE BATT LE OF ALGI E RS 31 Muslim nature of larger Arab insurgency.