43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly glorious film
The comparisons that are continually being made between this film and Saving Private Ryan are completely inept. This is a far superior film in all respects. The story is more credible, being based closely as it is on the actual experiences of French North African colonial troops rather than, as is the case with Ryan, consisting of a schmalzed up version of a story loosely...
Published on 18 May 2009 by Edelbee
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting point of view
No doubt it is interesting to see the point of view of someone else about the facts narrated in this epic movie. In its genre it is absolutely perfect. Non doubt it is worth to see once more how shameful a war is, and still how many corrupted powers survive on the pain of human beings turned to mere soldiers. However the story passes over some gruesome "details" of the...
Published on 15 Oct. 2009 by Anna Spinelli
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly glorious film,
The comparisons that are continually being made between this film and Saving Private Ryan are completely inept. This is a far superior film in all respects. The story is more credible, being based closely as it is on the actual experiences of French North African colonial troops rather than, as is the case with Ryan, consisting of a schmalzed up version of a story loosely inspired by a real life incident. The story is gripping and intensely moving as it follows the fates of a group of colonial troops who have enlisted- for a variety of reasons- to free their supposed motherland from the Nazis. Some enlist for money, others for adventure and some out a sense of genuine idealistic patriotism. A rude awakening awaits each and every one of them. The film can be viewed and enjoyed as an adventure movie and also as a disquisition on the inherant folly and flaws of colonialism. These men - and their real life counterparts in both the French and British empires- gave their loyalty and their lives for mother countries that undervalued, despised and ultimately rejected and spurned them. I defy anyone to watch the final scene of this film without being brought to the brink of tears. French cinema at its very best.
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary film and excellent transfer to High-Def,
I am very pleased with this Blu-Ray release of 'Days of Glory'- the picture is sharp, focused, and very obviously HD. I would say that the visual quality ranks as one of the best in my blu-ray collection. The battle at the beginning of the film, with paned out shots of large numbers of infantry attacking a hill, looked stunning. I definitely recommend buying this on Blu-Ray instead of DVD.
As for the film itself, I think this has taken its place as one of my favourite war films. It sheds light on a side of WW2 which has very rarely been explored, and it educates the viewer on the topic of race relations within the ranks of the French military with sensitivity and very naturally- it is not melodramatic, the characters feel like human beings and not actors- which makes it all the more shocking and powerful. It's one of those films where the full emotional impact sinks in in the days after watching it. It's interesting to see the conflict through the eyes of Algerian soldiers- the second world war is seen as such a good versus evil, unambiguous conflict that the situation of the colonial forces is difficult to grasp.
Truly, this film will make you think. It's powerful, sad, well-acted, stunning in high def and an essential purchase for anyone's blu-ray collection.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How refreshing: One of the best war films I've seen in a while.,
WOW: What a film.
And WOW: there's some really harsh reviews on here, for what I thought was and excellent war film. How strange, and undeserved (look at the DVD reviews - it has 4 and a half stars overall, while at the time of writing this, the Blu Ray release, has 2?).
So, first of all, take it from me; this is a good film. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly - this is a good war film.
I love war films and it's refreshing to have seen this, as recently I've watched lots and they've all been a huge let down (Defiance for one, Max Manus: Man Of War, and although a series and not a film, Generation Kill spring to mind as a few Turkeys I've watched in the last few months) so it's good to have been 'blown away' (no pun intended) by this little gem.
For starters it focuses on Muslim soldiers from Algeria, fighting in the French army, against the Nazis - that in itself makes a nice difference to the usual, war films from the British (or worse still American) perspective and gives an interesting angle and perspective to a a genre of film we've all seen a billion times and generally can guess what's going to happen in them a mile off.
But the Muslim angle isn't the only way it's different: it's different too in the fact that there's really something innocent about the soldiers we follow (this is a theme that's nothing new in war films - boys fighting as men etc - innocent lives ruined) But for some reason, the piety, innocence and naivety of these few soldiers was different and incredibly touching. Even more upsetting. Take for instance, the fact that one of the men enlisted only had one arm, a bit of a simpletone froma small village - yet he still enlisted to help 'free the Mother land' - a place he'd only ever heard of in songs. There is some really, really excellent acting throughout, and you really end up feeling for the characters and what they go through.
So - what do they go through? Some really quite good war scenes, that's what!!!... It's not unrelenting, but the scenes that are, on the whole, are very good. The final battle scene for instance is excellent; really well done; and you're on the edge of your seat as few stand against many.
The scenery is stunning and brilliantly displayed on Blu Ray (better than the DVD release for sure) plus - for some unknown reason - the subtitles didn't distract from the film... (usually I find myself struggling to rush through reading the subtitles and take in the visual element too, but this seemed balanced just right. You could read the subtitles easily and at a good pace and still have plenty of time to take in the stunning scenery or great acting). This is one of the best war films I've seen probably - and I've seen them all. It's certainly the best war film I've seen in a while anyway.
This is almost a 5 star film for me - but I'm gonna give it 4. Ignore the 1 star reviews (as I say look at the DVD reviews) they're just stupidly harsh.
For once a film deserving of the accolades plastered all of the front of it's box.
If this review was helpful to you at all please give it the thumbs up! :)
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting point of view,
No doubt it is interesting to see the point of view of someone else about the facts narrated in this epic movie. In its genre it is absolutely perfect. Non doubt it is worth to see once more how shameful a war is, and still how many corrupted powers survive on the pain of human beings turned to mere soldiers. However the story passes over some gruesome "details" of the narrated events. Like the slaughter of the inhabitants of some Italian small towns and villages, perpetrated by the North African troops, with the revenging bless of their French commanders (Remember "La Ciociara", 1960, directed by Vittorio de Sica, winning at Cannes Festival). A fact just forgotten, even in the extra interviews to the director and of course the actors, too young to know. It is just this out of tune, in a story that "wants to tell the truth". The movie in itself is wonderful and touching to the right point, worth to be seen and meditated.
38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Classic,
The terrible, apparently ironic, English title and regular comparisons to Saving Private Ryan do this film no favours. Unlike the Spielberg film, Debouzzel's film engages the mind as well as the heart. It makes interesting and subtle points about the relationship between the coloniser and the colonised. The "message" that most people took from this film, including, famously, the French government, was that France had treated those who had fought for France disgracefully; indeed this film led to a change in government policy which is an outcome not many films achieve. For all its underlying seriousness this a compelling film to watch (more than once); several of the performances are outstanding and the cinematography is breathtaking. This is war film for even those who "don't like war films".
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, honest and worthwhile seeing more than once,
Indigenes (Days of Glory), as a movie about the huge contribution made by soldiers from the Empire in the renaissance of the French army in WW2, succeeds on several levels - it holds the interest, it twiddles with your emotions, and it gets a strong message across.
As has been mentioned elsewhere in these reviews, the Free French army would have continued as a single brigade of men, had it not been for the Armee d'Afrique's large resources of Spahis, Tirailleurs and Goums - native troops from all over French Africa, but particularly Morrocco and Algeria. This wasn't because they were especially keen on liberating France per se - it was mainly because they were told to, and their honour depended on it. Nevertheless, there were many who imagined France as the beneficent mother country needing their help. Others felt that demonstrating their loyalty would lead the authorities to thoughts of equality, and maybe even freedom.
So this film is about the journey of some of these fighters, and five in particular, from sandy North Africa to a wet, cold German border.
Along the way, it becomes apparent to them just how feckless and bigoted their masters really are. At every turn, they are discriminated against, even by their own officers, who often only act with consideration because they fear mutiny.
This sort of thing has been said before, of course, on lots of occasions (Glory, for instance), and it's also pretty much all true, not to say a human universal, but the moralising is handled very heavily here... as a white European viewer, it felt a bit like being hit repeatedly with a large tagine pot.
Beyond that, the film won't give you much you haven't seen before in war movies, but it is well crafted, the story is excellent, and the acting is superlative... you really do end up getting very involved.
Well worth watching more than once.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the reviews by 12 year olds...,
This is a great film....its also a great war film.
The 12 year olds who seem to think a 'war' film has to conform to the first 20 mins of
SPR should probably not bother with films - whatever their genre - and stick to playing Call of Duty.
If only because COD doesn't have subtitles....
The film ebbs and flows between combat and social realism. The greater the men's sacrifice
the worse the racial prejudice,ignorance and rejection they suffer.
France wants them to fight for the nation...but not to become a part of it.
A cruel film in terms of both combat and social commentary and well wrth watching.
Actually its only worth 4 stars but I had to try and balance up the childen who gave it 1 star....
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Days of Glory,
A well produced film with solid characterisation and a gritty realism. A poignant potrayal of the French Algerian colonial troops who fought to liberate France in WWII, yet who were treated as second-class citizens, both in France and in Algeria of the colonial era.Each character has his own reasons for joining, some in the hope of finding recognition in the French system, others just looking for a means of surviving in hard times, led by a sergeant who has to conceal his mixed race background to protect his own chances of promotion in a racially unequal army. The story grips the viewer from the outset and keeps up the tension.It makes you want to find out what will finally happen to the various players. Historical detail of the Free French army will satisfy those with an eye for detail.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars something of an ironic title, but a simply superb film,
So World War 2, and everybody is fighting side by side against a common and hated enemy...nice idea, but it was never that way, and this film highlights this fact brilliantly. Four Algerian men, none of whom have ever set foot upon French soil, heed the call for troops to help liberate what to them is seen as the Motherland. Enlisting without any real thought about what they are doing this for apart from some barely realised idea of duty and honour, the men soon discover that racism exists, even in war, and even from your own side. Regarded with derision (the term "wogs" is used frequently throughout the film) by their own side and their own officers, the men are treated differently and although they fight the same fight, dodge the same bullets and shed the same blood, they are never really recognised for what they are...decent men fighting a horrible war for a country that unfortunately regards them as second class citizens.
The four main characters are superbly realised as living, breathing human beings with hopes and fears just like the rest of us. From Messaoud (Roschdy Zem), a man who falls in love with a beautiful French woman and wants nothing more than to return to her once the fighting is done, through Said (Jamel Debbouze), a dirt poor illiterate young man who joins up in a welter of patriotic fervour and soon discovers that it is not going to be glory after glory, Yassir (Samy Naceri), who has joined up for the money (whether paid or looted) and wants simply to protect his younger brother Larbi, to Abdelkader (Sami Bouajila) the corporal who leads the men and fights against the injustices he sees meted out on his men at every turn (whether it is being overlooked for deserved promotions or simply not getting the same food as the regular French soldiers), each one of them is allowed to grow as the film progresses, so that the viewer feels that they know each and every one of them (an idea Spielberg tried with some success in Saving Private Ryan, but with nothing like the effect here).
Directed by Rachid Bouchareb, this is a film that moves slowly and allows us to empathise and then sympathise with the characters. Whilst it contains some effective action set pieces, in particular a nerve shredding battle towards the end of the movie, this film is not about the violence of warfare, it deals with a very different theme, liberty and the right to be treated with respect. That this film served to force a change in French law, whereby the pension paid to colonial veterans were brought in line with those paid to regular French troops, and brought about similar changes in Holland, Italy and even Great Britain, just goes to show that cinema still has the power to change things for the better. This film is an honour and a privilege to watch, and a true testament to the bravery of men who fought for a country they didn't even know, but they did love.
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Days of Glory' is a remarkably passionate Involving and heartfelt film,
UNCUT REGION 2 DVD
The critically acclaimed and Oscar nominated war epic Days of Glory is a chronicle of courage and sacrifice... told with power, grace and feeling and brought alive by first-rate acting. Telling the true story of a band of World War II soldiers who heroically fought their way across Europe while battling discrimination within their own ranks
WHAT CAN I SAY?
Days of Glory' then is a doubly brave effort, not only exposing the fighting spirit of the French notably after the Allies began to win, but also in exposing the racism that met the army's 130,000 colonial troops.
tracking the experiences of a group of low ranking infantry through the course of the war and showing the impacts of the continuing injustices they face. The are significant differences to the usual story though. The fact that the group are a different religion means any romance with the 'natives' is awkward and uncomfortable, while the camaraderie is stronger between the men because of it, and because they come from a country that isn't structured into classes. What we see is a much more detailed and equal examination of war experiences, as each man starts off essentially the same but eventually becomes affeted in different ways. It's a dignified and passionate treatment of the colonial's experience that skilfully avoids cliche and sentimentality.
just how real veterans are treated in Europe. It's a huge gut punch, a shameful national injustice and a true consequence of war, far removed from its rose-tinted, misty-eyed romanticism.
'Days of Glory' is a remarkably passionate Involving and heartfelt film, part great entertainment, part insight into a forgotten presence The final stand off in a destroyed village is a classic war film set piece, made all the more poignant and heartbreaking because, by now, these characters are shown to be the true bravery of the French Army and it is their own skill and courage in battle that has landed them in such a fatal position..
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Days Of Glory: Collectors Edition Steelbook  [DVD] by Rachid Bouchareb (DVD - 2008)