France - 2006
Rachid Bouchareb

Algeria, 1943, through Italy and France, to Alsace in early 1945, with a coda years later. Arabs volunteer to fight Nazis to liberate France, their motherland. We follow Saïd, dirt poor, an orderly for a grizzled sergeant, Martinez, a pied noir with some willingness to speak up for his Arab troops; Messaoud, a crack shot, who in Province falls in love with a French woman who loves him back; and Abdelkader, a corporal, a budding intellectual with a keen sense of injustice. The men fight with courage against a backdrop of small and large indignities: French soldiers get better food, time for leave, and promotions. Is the promise of liberty, equality, and fraternity hollow?

Learning activities include: conversation, listening activities, reading comprehension exercises, writing short paragraphs.

Topics covered include: World War 2; the influence of the past on the present; famous people and historical turning points; lifestyles in France and francophone countries; social issues such as immigration and discrimination.

For bookings and enquiries, please contact Isabelle Le Bouder at

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St Kilda branch:
51 Grey Street, ST KILDA
Tel : 03 9525 3463
Fax : 03 9525 5064

Postal Address:
PO Box 2042,

St Kilda branch opening hours:
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