1961 : The Algerian War has been raging for seven years. Marc Dallers, a future lawyer, arrives in Algeria for the last ten months of his militariy service. he is a sergent in charge of a patrol. Lagrange is a young, mentally retarded country-boy, mistakenly placed in the same patrol but who should have been sent home some time before. But Lieutenant Morin, an unscrupulous career officer, has had a wooden gun made for him so that he can fight alongside the others without harming them. Dallers gradually becomes friend with Lagrange...
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"The difficulty that different ethnic communities have in linving together is one of the challenges of our time. Ignorance leads to suspicion, scorn and hatred. The way these prejudices disappear when the stranger ceases to be an abstraction is fascinating. It's a fearful process of discovery filled with emotion and hope. And when it leads to friendship or simply to respect, the demons are well and truly driven out. When tribute is finally paid to those who never had any breaks in life, one feels happier to be a man. "The Wooden Gun" is intended as a dramatic tale on this theme."