Indigènes

France is, finally, honouring its North-African war heroes in the wake of the release of the film Indigènes. The film is by French director Rachid Bouchareb and its main cast of five were collectively awarded the Best Actor prize at the film festival of Cannes. The title of the film means “natives” but the official English-language title is “Days of Glory”. From BBC News:

The film is about the campaign from Provence through to Alsace in 1944-45 as seen through the eyes of four soldiers, who leave their homelands in Algeria and Morocco to fight for France.

President Chirac has seen the movie, was moved by it and:

…has announced that the pensions of foreign soldiers who fought in the French army are to be brought into line with those of French ones.

Another interesting quote from the same article:

Many in the audience were themselves of North African origin, and had no idea of this part of French history. “I never saw an Arab or an African soldier in my history books”, says 23-year-old Salima, a student from the Paris suburb of Seine-St-Denis. Her parents come from Morocco and her grandfather fought in the war. (…) “When you go to Africa, people tell us we’re not African. In Europe they tell us we’re not European. We are, and we’re staying. “We’re a bridge that Europe and Africa needs, especially in these times”.