Hidden History: Larbi Ben Mhidi, the Genius Behind the Algerian Revolution

The Algerian Revolution, Larbi Ben Mhidi

Al Jazeera (2019)

Film Review

This documentary explores the life and work of Larbi Ben Mhidi, legendary leader in the Algerian National Liberation Front (NLF), which in 1962 succeeding in winning Algerian independence.  In 1956, Ben Mhidi was hunted down and secretly assassinated by French military forces.

Ben Mhidi played a central role in plotting the strategy of the Algerian Revolution. When the NLF first launched their war of independence in November 1954, they were a guerilla band of 1200 rural fighters with 400 weapons. Through a strategic campaign of bombing attacks on police stations, military barracks, weapons depots and settlers homes – coupled with an 8-day general strike in 1967 – they mobilized enough support to fight the French to a stand-off in Algiers.

In the Battle of Algiers, which lasted a little over a year (1956-57), the French captured 2,400 NFL fighters and “disappeared” 4,000.