Days of Glory (Indegines) (Bouchareb, 2006)

The African soldiers brilliantly portrayed in Days of Glory fight endlessly for France in opposition to the Nazi’s, yielding little reward or recognition in the process. They are often treated as second class warriors, not worthy of the same hero status the anglo French receive throughout. Days of Glory is an unapologetic reminder of the important role these foreigners played in helping beat the Germans in WWII and it makes no qualms about painting the French Generals and military bureaucracy in a harsh light. Promises are made to these African soldiers to glean maximum results and it’s heartbreaking to see their disappointment in the regime which has convinced them to die for freedom. Bullets take all shapes in Days of Glory, whether it be words, glances, and tears. But the most piercing has to be the loss of faith in one’s ideologies. The final battle sequence clarifies the muddled air of the constant in-fighting and jockeying for power, testing the true glory of these soldiers as brothers in arms, not French pawns. It’s fascinating and indicting that the French townspeople of this burnt out village give the soldiers proper homage for their sacrifices, while the French Capt. tirelessly ignores them, driving on to the next battle. Days of Glory might enlighten just another casualty of war, but it’s one long overdue for some historical perspective.

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