Comics to explore the violence of the Algerian War

There is no doubt that the Algerian War is a conflict which contains a great deal of violence and which has generated indestructible trauma. Any work capable of apprehending this page of history and helping to heal this harmful legacy is therefore welcome. Vincent Marie, he chose comics to examine a war that has not yet revealed all its secrets.

Vincent Marie was not, so to speak, born of the last rain. Already, in 2014, he realized “ exile bubbles », his first documentary on the links between immigration and comics. Then, in 2016, he returned with another documentary which was very successful and whose title is ” Where the poppies grow “. And, in 2019, he achieved “ Bartoli, drawing for memory echoing Josep d’Aurel’s animated film. And, in his latest production, the researcher and filmmaker takes a look at Algeria, more particularly at the plural memories of the Algerian War. The documentary, presented during the Amiens Film Festival on November 12, is called ” Our shadows of Algeria “. It includes a poignant series of testimonials from cartoonists who have dealt with the said war.

Algerian War: Violence Beyond Borders

At the very beginning, we meet Jacques Ferrandez who, in his great saga of the Carnets d’Orient, evoked his ancestors who will find themselves in southern Algeria. Kamel Khélif, painter and comic book author born in Algeria, is leaving for Marseille with his family. He recounts this other uprooting in moving terms; it evokes “paradoxical integration” and “family taboos” around the Algerian War. There is also the testimony of Alexandre Thikomiroff that Gaëtan Nocq collected and reproduced with great emotion in Burning sun in Algeria. In their exchanges in front of the camera lens, they come back to the permanent anguish, the fears and the pains.

And to Vincent Marie to make a reminder that we tend to forget: the fact that the violence of the Algerian War crossed the borders to be exported to France. It was in October 1961 with the massacre of Algerian demonstrators thrown into the Seine, as Kamel Khélif recalls. Then, more present in the French memory, the massacre of Charonne, on February 8, 1962, evoked by Jeanne Puchol whose family lived in the region.

The Harkis: the other shame of France

Produced by Kanari Films and directed for France 3, this new 52-minute documentary goes from encounter to encounter to address the different facets of the subject. And the researcher and filmmaker Vincent Marie did not fail to mention another theme which he described as “shameful for France”: the treatment of harkis.

On this, he made Farid Boudjellal speak, through his album The harki cousin, and also Gaëtan Nocq, filmed in the Rivesaltes camp where some were welcomed. Other testimonies are also contained in Vincent Marie’s documentary. They deal with the still conflicting relationship between France and Algeria, shared memory and memories that are both beautiful and painful.

Comics to explore the violence of the Algerian War