Days of Glory 2007 ***

Writer/director Rachid Bouchareb scored an Oscar nomination for this heartfelt war film from 2007, an engrossing consideration of the unfair treatment of Arabic fighters in World War Two. Enlisting in the French army, Yassir (Samy Naceri) and Said (Jamel Debbouze) take part in a lengthy campaign, realising that the glory will go to the native French soldiers while their heroic efforts will be side-lined. This stark picture of prejudice towards Arab soldiers is powerfully told, and builds to an extended action scene in an abandoned village that hits a Saving Private Ryan standard of realism. After the film was released, the French government relented on providing pensions for Arabic soldiers; a reminder that good cinema can not only rewrite history, but change the way society operated, albeit in a backdated fashion.


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