Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jamel Debbouze, Sami Bouajila, Samy Naceri, Roschdy Zem, Bernard Blancan, Mathieu Simonet, Benoît Giros, Antoine Chappey, Assaad Bouab, Aurélie Eltvedt
Written by: Rachid Bouchareb, Olivier Lorelle
Directed by: Rachid Bouchareb
MPAA Rating: R for war violence and brief language
Language: French, Arabic with English subtitles
Running Time: 120
Date: 05/25/2006

Days of Glory (2006)

2 Stars (out of 4)

'Glory' Story

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

An awards-season leftover, Rachid Bouchareb's war movie purports to explore racism during World War II as four Moroccan-born soldiers fight for their "motherland," France, with little thanks or appreciation. Bouchareb shows the discrimination in the most pedestrian way possible, with French soldiers getting promotion or granted leave before the Africans. The French soldiers are shown as arrogant, while the Moroccans are good-natured and loyal. Meanwhile, Bouchareb's war footage employs all the usual chestnuts (slow-motion, feverish tracking shots, etc.) as well. Admittedly though, unlike most modern films, it is actually quite well photographed and cleanly edited. The distributors, the Weinsteins, changed the title from Indigènes (or "Natives") to the more meaningless (and Oscar-friendly) Days of Glory. Oscar nuts may recognize the French-born actor Jamel Debbouze from a previous Foreign Language nominee, Amélie (2001). Bouchareb is perhaps better known as a producer on the much more daring films by Bruno Dumont (L'Humanité, Twentynine Palms).

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