Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Outside the Law

As celebrations ring out in France as victory in Europe is declared, Algerians marching for their independence are beaten, imprisoned, and slain on the streets of Setif. Three brothers of disparate paths, a soldier, a firebrand politico, and neutral financier find themselves taking up the cause of the FLN, leading the armed Algerian resistance against the oppressive French. "Outside the Law" is writer/director Rachid Bouchareb's following to 2006's "Days of Glory" (unseen by myself), which also told the story of a fight against French Oppression. Here, Bouchareb tells an intriguing story with sure-footed direction and a good pace, especially for a longer film. However, his characters never succeed in being any more than types, and as a result we can never really identify with their cause or their brutal, terrorist actions. Also crucial scenes of high drama are hackneyed and superficial. "Days of Glory" is an engaging look at historical events populated with wooden fictional characters that don't do the story justice.