Yasmina Khadra, Omar Sy: Warriors serving the French national cause

Yasmina Khadra is not a writer, but a storyteller. DR

Contributed by Khider Mesloub – The French bourgeoisie suddenly began to reward their former military auxiliaries from the colonies. As it tries to praise the cinema and literary works of the authors from the former colonies. After more than half a century of futile reparations claims by Harki associations, it is interesting to note that in February 2022, the month the war in Ukraine began, the Macron government passed the “On the Law” law, a prelude to a generalized global conflict. recognition of the nation and compensation for the damage caused by the Harkis”.

Similarly, the surviving Senegalese shooters were allowed to return to their country, taking the minimum old-age pensions paid until then, provided they lived in France for at least six months of the year. This measure will also apply to Malians and Mauritanians who may return permanently to their countries of origin while continuing to receive their pensions. After several years of fruitless legal battles, the Senegalese Shooters’ Memory Association will thus surprisingly win its case.

These events are interesting during the screening of director Mathieu Vadepied’s film. WarriorsThe main role was assigned to Omar Siya and the publication of Yasmina Khadran’s book, The virtuoushis story also takes place during the First World War.

In this era, marked by the militarization of society and the capitalization of minds engaged in the forced march toward generalized war, all energies, especially cultural ones, are mobilized to engage the population in the now activated war enterprise.

Directed by Mathieu Vadepied, the film tells the story of two Senegalese fighters, a father and son – the director should have drafted the entire tribe into the French army to support France’s imperialist war effort, which would have been safer and a sacrifice. An example to follow for many modern families of immigrant background who enlisted in colonial troops to fight in the trenches 1914-18. “Bakary Diallo enlists in the French army with his 17-year-old son Thierno, who is forcibly recruited. Father and son sent to the front must face the war together. He was galvanized by the enthusiasm of his officer who wanted to take him into the heart of the battle.

According to information, to write the film, Mathieu Vadepied and screenwriter Olivier Demangel would start from an ideologically interesting hypothesis: “And if the Unknown Soldier, whose tomb was laid under the Arc de Triomphe on November 11, 1920, was a Senegalese. rifleman (Africa, Algeria)?” This historical assumption would allow young people of immigrant origin to communicate with all French people in the same spirit of patriotism. To restore national unity.

This film is dominated by the idea of ​​conveying the debt of sacrifice to the present generation, especially to young people of immigrant origin, who are invited to identify with these fighters who died for France. A total of 300,000 of these fighters will be destroyed during this imperialist war in France. It is useful to remember that all colonial troops were under the command of whites. In the barracks, the lives of whites and blacks were separated from each other. Fighters were placed in special camps under the supervision of local commissars. But military control was systematically exercised by a white Frenchman. Most of the fighters did not speak French. They were illiterate.

Yasmina Khadra, a career soldier, seems to have written her literary fresco to contribute to the ideological war effort currently demanded by the French imperialist state, even the Atlantic camp. As a dutiful soldier, he would have fulfilled his duty as an intellectual mercenary enlisted in the service of Western capital, especially French capital, by creating commissioned work. with his book The virtuous, the only virtue staged is the sacrifice of life, in other words, war, which the author extols. And for good reason. Today, war should have all the virtues of normality. War is virtuous as virtue is warlike. Yasmina Khadra easily recreates this terrible period when millions of proletarians were sent to the trenches as cannon fodder. Yacine Cheraga, a shepherd—or rather a sheep, instrumentalized by the local kaid and colonial France—is the protagonist of the novel, who enlists in the military under an assumed name, hastily learns to work with weapons, and then is sent to fight in France. Marne, under the standard of the 2nd African Tirailleurs Regiment. For four years, Yacine, portrayed as a sincere Algerian according to neocolonial tropism, will discover the virtues of war, heroic combat, and the trenches. The virtues of death on the war fronts. The virtues of solidarity among soldiers were mobilized to defend the French homeland with valor.

The reader who published his statement in the literary forum wrote that he stopped reading the book after 120 pages: “After 120 pages, I got tired of reading the initial and repeated exchanges of young people sent to kill in the trenches, I stopped. 1914.” Another reader slams Yasmina Khadra for war pornography. He writes: “What a disappointment. This novel is only a depiction of violence, injustice and horror. And it drags on forever. In this noxious climate, only a few virtuous characters stand out. You have to be a strong believer and an absolute believer to accept the moral the author gives us in the last pages. I wasted my time reading these 540 pages. Personal development books convey the same message to us in less time.

Another reader expressed his disappointment after reading the book: “I was expecting a more rebellious, rebellious ending, like a never-ending battle, but it was definitely not too politically correct.” Well, it’s all summed up in that last sentence. Yasmina Khadra is a politically correct author, in other words, a person of the system. And it works and works for the dominant system.

The reader still appreciates the novel as a “children’s storybook”, so much so that the story and characters are not believable, believable. There is no doubt that Yasmina Khadra is a magician of literature. The word acrobat. Word juggler. A juggler of rhetoric. A literary wizard. The romantic alchemist. But he is not a writer, much less an intellectual. He is a storyteller. We feel that he studied the words carefully. But not life. His vices are few. Yasmina Khadra’s work is a limited literature of orderly thought, intended for the French reader who likes station novels and rosewater books, like the novels that shaped the soul of Mohammad Moulessehoul in his childhood.

Contrary to what official literary criticism says, The virtuous not a book of love, but a warmongering catechism. It certainly works to reconcile and therefore unite the French and immigrant populations, but for the French national cause. Patriotic struggle. As in the First World War.

KM

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