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De-colonization, immigration and integration (Study based on The Battle of Algiers and Living in Paradise)

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Europe after World War II.
  3. The Algerian war.
    1. The films 'The Battle of Algiers' and 'Vivre au Paradis (Living in Paradise)'.
    2. Numerous visions of the same event.
    3. Seeing the two sides of the FLN.
    4. The most striking scene of Living in Paradise.
  4. A life which represents 'paradise'.
  5. Lakhdar's confession to his best friend in 'Living in Paradise'.
  6. The Battle of Algiers as a tool to understand how soldiers had made torture a tool of frequent use.
  7. Conclusion.

The Algerian war. It is only in 1999 that the French National Assembly voted to recognize it, after years during which it has been referred to as an ?operation of restoring order?, whereas on the Algerian side it was referred as a ?war of independence?, even as ?a revolution?. Two peoples, two stances: French people for a ?French Algeria', and Algerian people for an ?Algerian Algeria'. Or at least this is the basic analysis that some uninformed people have done. However, things were far from being so simple and if it is true that a large majority of Algerian people claimed for the Independence of Algeria, some were willing that Algeria stay a part of France, or simply were unwilling to take part into the struggle. The main reason for this was that they wanted to be a part of the French society, as the Harkis who fought on the promise they would be able to go to France and have the French citizenship after the end of the fights. It seems that this people were willing to become members of the French society, a society still very appealing to them for its better conditions of living, its luxury and so and so forth ? But could integration into the French society of this period really be possible? I will try to demonstrate that in the Post World War Two Europe, integration was something illusory, and will give the reasons for this.

[...] Lakhdar is one such person, one of this numerous émigrés from North Africa come to France to help in the reconstruction of the nation after the war, in a time when immigration was little regulated and even encouraged, as it was perceived as a solution to the labor shortage, as explained by William I. Hitchcock in The Struggle for Europe, p These immigrants were, almost 90% of them, young men looking for a better future in the nation that had colonized their countries tens of years before, and most of them left behind a family in their country. [...]


[...] But this cry is also the one of the people of Algiers who are confronted in every day life with discrimination and racism. If things were going more or less correctly for years in Algiers, things worsened a lot after the attacks launched against military installations and people, public utilities, and other symbols of the French regime, and above all, the bomb attacks planted by women in public places like the ones of September which occurred in a popular café, in a dancing place, and at the main Air France office. [...]

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