by Philippe Faucon
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During the Algerian civil war, French Lieutenant Roque has been posted to a small, isolated villagein Algeria. His role is, officially, to pacify the Algerians, and to convince that the "good intentions" of the French presence in the country is well meant. But in fact, the main goal is the dismantling and severe repression of the FLN (Algerian undercover army of liberation). He tries hard to live up to his function, torn as he is between the resentful locals "who are subjected to brutality and torture", and the soldiers "whose morale and vigilance must be kept up at all costs". After the discovery of a notebook, containing confidential information, Roque is confronted with the possible betrayal of some of his men, all of them young recruits of North-African extraction. One of the suspects, Taieb, a protege of Roque's, attempts to make him aware of the agonising dilemmas he faces, being at once a French soldier, and Algerian-born. For Roque, the ensuing crisis, and its dramatic consequences for the already vulnerable unit, only emphasize the contradictions and absurdities of this "Nameless War".