I haven’t seen the film, and I doubt I’m going to see it, but I rather liked this comment from the Independent:

It’s a shame. Ali G is essentially a Great British fabulist, like Just William or Billy Liar; but those characters work because you believe in the domestic clutter – the too-solid reality – they’re trying to escape. A feature film was the perfect place to pin Ali down; instead, it becomes a showcase for his delusions…

Thinking of films, I saw The Battle of Algiers again last night: the Phoenix here in Oxford only managed to get hold of a DVD (they let the audience in free by way of compensation), and they played the soundtrack far too quietly: even so, it is still a smashing piece of cinema.

Journalist: Colonel Mathieu … the spokesman for the residing minister, Mr. Gorlin, has stated that “Larbi Ben M’Hidi committed suicide in his own cell, hanging himself with pieces of his shirt, that he had used to make a rope, and then attached to the bars of his cell window.” In a preceding statement, the same spokesman had specified that: “… due to the intention already expressed by the prisoner Ben M’Hidi to escape at the first opportunity, it has been necessary to keep his hands and feet bound continually.” In your opinion, colonel, in such conditions, is a man capable of tearing his shirt, making a rope from it, and attaching it to a bar of the window to hang himself?

Mathieu: You should address that question to the minister’s spokesman. I’m not the one who made those statements … On my part, I will say that I had the opportunity to admire the moral strength, intelligence, and unwavering idealism demonstrated by Ben M’Hidi. For these reasons, although remembering the danger he represented, I do not hesitate to pay homage to his memory.

The rest of the script is here.

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