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Impossible Independence

Algeria, 1974

The “development-trap” in the so-called Third World began with colonialization. Restructuring agriculture for cash crops destroyed the local food base and played havoc with the existing economies. This caused impoverishment in the former colonies – a state of affairs from which they still have not recovered. Algeria tried to overcome underdevelopment by enforcing industrialization on more or less socialistic terms. This ambitious project was to be financed by the proceeds from Algeria’s vast mineral resources. To exploit them, however, the country had to rely on technology that was only to be bought from the rich industrial nations. Instead of curtailing dependence, it was being reinforced. On the other hand, the high level of automation in factories did not create more employment. The ranks of the unemployed swelled, and the products found no buyers on the domestic market. “Due to its ambitious industrial projects, Algeria is hardly a model to be followed by the Third World. lt is much more an example of how independence cannot be attained, as long as one adheres to the ideas of growth and economic advancement that were responsible for dependence and underdevelopment in the first place. “

a film by Gordian Troeller and Marie-Claude Deffarge
in cooperation with François Partant
original title: Der Fluch der Abhängigkeit
camera: Gordian Troeller
sound: Didier Baussy
editor: Ingeburg Forth
43 minutes

This film only exists in a German and in a French version.

Download the script

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