Screen/Society--French Film Series--"INTIMATE ENEMIES" (L'Ennemi intime)
Intimate Enemies (L'Ennemi intime)
(Florent-Emilio Siri, 2007, 111 min, France)
Set in 1959, Florent-Emilio Siri’s film is a harrowing depiction of Algeria’s war for independence, the contradictory title referring to the fact that less than ten years after French and Algerian soldiers fought together against the Nazis, they were battling each other. Arriving after an incident of “friendly fire” kills the original commanding officer, Lieutenant Terrien, who vainly tries to remain principled, instantly clashes with Sergeant Dougnac, an amoral combat veteran who stopped caring about doing the right thing years ago.
As the film traces Terrien’s slow disintegration, it also unsparingly depicts the absolute viciousness and madness of this war, one in which torture is regularly deployed and women and children massacred. Skillfully using jump cuts and a brown-gray color palette that conveys the brutal conditions of the desert, Siri has shown meticulous care in crafting the combat scenes. But his filmmaking finesse never detracts from Intimate Enemies’ deeper significance as an unforgettable statement on the absolute futility of war—a message that powerfully resonates today.
-- Part of the French Film Series.
-- Nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Music, and Best Sound at the 2008 César Awards (French Academy Awards)!
Cost: Free and Open to the Public
Sponsors: Program in Arts of the Moving Image (AMI) and Center for French and Francophone Studies