The cinema can be as revealing as it is selective in its portrayal of historic events. A French film opens up the Algerian past to show how many supported France against the Nazis in World War 2. This wasn’t the first time they had come out in support of the colonial power, just as those from Africa and the Caribbean supported their British rulers and oppressors.
That cinema is still capable of distorting and denying history was demonstrated by Clint Eastwood’s film about Iwo Jima, which failed to show black American presence, yet has still gone forward to acclaim somehow. The pains Eastwood apparently took to ensure authenticity about the Japanese involvement seems to have eluded him with regard to the black American presence.
The film “Days of Glory” brings back memories of Franz Fanon and Albert Camus, two hugely significant writers on the colonial experience and depths of racism. Fanon himself volunteered to fight in France, was wounded and awarded the Croix de Guerre. Albert Camus‘ father had fought for France in Word War 1, Camus himself joined the French resistance.
All this should serve to remind us of the contribution of British Muslims to Britain in past conflict, presently ignored by censorial media. They prefer a good headline fuelling populist views, however distorted.