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Episode Number
Algeria: What Price Freedom
Producing Organization
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Contributing Organization
Thirteen WNET (New York, New York)
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Episode Description
Algeria: What Price Freedom? documents the seven-year struggle for independence with France and shows that Algeria's people are attempting to make the nation a force in the world today. Cameras visit the crooked streets of the Casbah - once a ghetto of bloody terror, now an overcrowded and poor district where the people live calmly. In an Arab quarter of Mostaganem, the houses are lightly walled in and veiled women live a sheltered life. The veil, symbol of secrecy, is now the subject of heated debate in Algeria, where emancipation of women is a social goal. Even the most optimistic say emancipation of women will take another generation before it will become an accomplished fact. The cameras also visit the Khelil family, Europeanized, liberal and modern by Algerian terms, but nonetheless retaining some traditional influences. Cameras follow Madjid Khelil during a typical day with his family and looks on as he goes to the mosque on a Friday to pray. The transition of Algeria's educational system is seen in old schools where the Koran is taught and in an integrated single system that combines the country's religious and cultural heritage. The French had created a good school system, the program shows, but not all Muslims had access to it. One of the big problems facing Algeria and its government is illiteracy. To combat it the government is opening schools whenever and wherever possible and is adding Arabic as well as French to the curriculum. Under President Ben Bella's reform, the teachers attend professional schools to help fight the illiteracy problem. As the program shows education is free to all children. In the economic phases of Algerian progress the government is calling on the people to help rebuild the country. To fill the empty coffers, President Ben Bella established a National Solidarity Fund. From the villages, cities, farms, mountains, flat land, desert, the people answer enthusiastically. The Algerians are seen voluntarily giving their jewels, money, deeds - anything of value. Algerians are seen clearing and replanting the Bainem forest, all at the government's request. Part of the agricultural reform instituted by President Ben Bella has been the collectivizing of 12,000 farms totaling four million acres. At the Le Domaine Bouchaoui, Algeria's largest - 8,000 acres - vineyard, 500 workers till the land. Here, to see the agricultural changes, the cameras visit a young farmer, Mercheri. The farmers, who once lived in squalid can huts, now live in brick houses left by the Europeans. Mecheri appears a happy man who keeps house with his wife and children. At his vineyard President Ben Bella comes to the land. At the meeting, Ben Bella tells the farmers that the success of the committee depend on the future of the country. For a vivid contrast to the fertile lands in the west of Algeria the viewer is taken to the eastern regions beyond the passes of Palestro where poverty - another major problem - exists in the mountains of Kabylie. Here old Berber traditions are preserved, the villages are overpopulated and the people live a Spartan life. Another challenge for Algeria is unemployment. In Constantine the city is swollen with people, many of whom were refugees during the seven-year war. Eighty percent of the city's population is without work. And the growing despair of the people is displayed in malcontent and protest demonstrations. Cameras then shift to the mountains in Aures where the age-old ways of the semi-nomadic barbarians are retained. In a sense, Algeria's bad luck is viewed as its good luck, says Algerian newspaperman Boualem Makouf, who fought for the country's independence. The answer to find work for millions, provides school rooms, feed the hungry, and may lie with untapped resources beneath the sand dunes. Another answer is found in the development of tourist trade. At Biskra and Bou-Saada, tourists flock to these resorts of exotic attractions. Mr. Makouf says the prime meaning of Ben Bella's name is unity. "Through him the people communicate and feel united." It is Ben Bella who founded reception centers for children of the "Chouhada," (Martyrs) of the revolution. At one of these centers, the Holden Chateau in Douera, the youngsters - who have known war, loneliness on the streets, death of their parents - go to school, play, eat together, work together, and prepare to become the men of Algeria's tomorrow." This hour-long piece was recorded on film. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Series Description
Intertel, a dramatic breakthrough in the dissemination of ideas and cultural exchange through television, was conceived in November 1960. Five television broadcasters in the four major English-speaking nations joined to form the International Television Federation, to be known as Intertel, the first such international organization. The participants were Associated Rediffusion, Ltd. of Great Britain, the Australian Broadcasting Commission, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and for the United States, the National Educational Television and Radio Center and the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company. Intertel produced on a bi-monthly basis hour-long documentaries on important world topics, inaugurating a global television production agency dedicated to the creation of programs of substance and meaning.John F. White, President of NET, called Intertel "more than a fusion of the creative talents of the organizations involved in producing television programs of outstanding merit. It is a step forward to world understanding," he added. "I believe that the exchange of documentaries, while of great significance in the vastness of the mutual understanding in it can foster, is but the first step in a regular exchange of all forms of programming." Donald H. McGannon, President of WBC, hailed the new organization as "a pool of the technical and creative ability and knowledge of all the groups which will extend the international horizons of television in all aspects. This is the first practical step, after years of talking and hoping, toward the creation and use of international television for cultural exchange and an effective weapon for peace." By having observers examine topics far removed from their everyday assignments, Intertel gives viewers a fresh viewpoint. The founder members indicated that by dubbing these programs in foreign languages and making them available to all nations, they hoped television companies in Europe, Asia and South America will eventually join this unique project.The supervisory committee for the United States programming segments consists of Mr. McGannon and Mr. White; Richard M. Pack, WBC Vice President - Programming; and Robert Hudson, NET Vice President for Programming. Intertel came into formal being November 14, 1960, in a special meeting in Vancouver, B.C., and the culmination of plans for such an association which has been under way for a long time. John McMilliam of Associate Rediffusion, was named contemporary Coordinating Officer at that time. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Social Issues
Public Affairs
Media type
Moving Image
Director: Blouin, Marcel
Editor: Girard, Pierre
Narrator: Fauteaux, Jacques
Producer: Blouin, Marcel
Producer: Klugherz, Dan
Producing Organization: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Writer: Jasmin, Judith, 1916-1972
Writer: Klugherz, Dan
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Thirteen - New York Public Media (WNET)
Identifier: wnet_aacip_2292 (WNET Archive)
Format: 16mm film
Duration: 00:52:01?
Thirteen - New York Public Media (WNET)
Identifier: wnet_aacip_2293 (WNET Archive)
Format: 16mm film
Duration: 00:52:01?
Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive
Identifier: [request film based on title] (Indiana University)
Format: 16mm film
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Chicago: “Intertel; 16; Algeria: What Price Freedom,” 1964-05-04, Thirteen WNET, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 30, 2023,
MLA: “Intertel; 16; Algeria: What Price Freedom.” 1964-05-04. Thirteen WNET, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 30, 2023. <>.
APA: Intertel; 16; Algeria: What Price Freedom. Boston, MA: Thirteen WNET, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from