Pontecorvo joined the Italian Communist Party in 1941. He traveled to northern Italy to help organize anti-Fascist partisans and going by the pseudonym Barnaba, becoming a leader of the Resistance in Milan from 1943 until 1945. Pontecorvo broke ties with the party in 1956 after the Soviet intervention in Hungary. He didn't, however, renounce his dedication to Marxism and has said, “I am not an out-and-out revolutionary. I am merely a man of the Left, like a lot of Italian Jews.”
"The paratroopers, for instance, why should we make them into monsters, or like the SS? The condemnation of colonialism, which was our objective is better served by putting the blame elsewhere: on the error and intransigence of colonialism."
Just as the Colonel talked about in the film about the struggle between Algerians wanted the French to leave and most Frenchmen wanted the paratroopers to stay. And thus his job was to crush the resistance and not to decide the overlaying problems.
I guess Pontecorvo was not too much of a communist since he filmed a few commercials for money. LOL.
Pontecorvo succeeded on another political level as well: He convinced middle-class audiences that terrorism — deliberately bombing innocent people in order to pressure political opponents — might be necessary. His case was so emotionally compelling that Pauline Kael described The Battle of Algiers as “the rape of the doubting intelligence.” She dubbed Pontecorvo the most dangerous kind of Marxist, a “Marxist poet” who uses the power of film to persuade his audience that “terrorism is a tragic necessity.”Reel Terrorism: Reconsidering The Battle of Algiers
And another interesting quote from last link:
All of this is now so obvious and undeniable, it seems strange that 30 years ago even the clear-eyed Pauline Kael could not see it. What might be even more astonishing is the suggestion that Pontecorvo created all this without appreciating what he was doing. What is prophetic in The Battle of Algiers is Pontecorvo’s backdrop of Islamic fundamentalism; what proved false was Pontecorvo’s foreground depiction of “the world moving in a certain way.”
The three posts:
RDRutherford Movie Reviews: The Battle of Algiers (3 disc set)
RDRutherford Movie Reviews: The Dictatorship of Truth|Battle of Algiers Disk Two
RDRutherford Movie Reviews: The Battle of Algiers (1966) Disc 3
A Master of Cinema and Courage
The Battle of Algiers, Gillo Pontecorvo
A Marxist Poet