The following year Godard made Le Petit Soldat ( The Little Soldier ), filmed on location in Geneva ,  and dealing with the Algerian War of Independence . The film begins on 13 May 1958, the date of the attempted putsch in Algeria , and ends later the same month. In the film, Bruno Forestier a photojournalist who has links with a right wing paramilitary group working for the French government, is ordered to murder a professor accused of aiding the Algerian resistance. He is in love with Veronica Dreyer, a young woman who has worked with the Algerian fighters. He is captured by Algerian militants and tortured. His organisation captures and tortures her. The 'little soldier' was played by Michel Subor and Veronica Dreyer by Anna Karina —the first collaboration between Godard and the Danish-born—of Russian extraction—actress. Unlike Seberg, Karina had virtually no experience as an actress and Godard used her awkwardness as an element of her performance. He wrote the dialogue every day and, since it was filmed without direct sound and was dubbed, called dialogue to the actors. Forestier was a character close to Godard himself, an image-maker and intellectual, 'more or less my spokesman, but not totally' Godard told an interviewer.  The film, due to its political nature, implied that France was involved in a dirty war, engaging in torture, and was banned by the French government until January 1963. Godard and Karina were a couple by the end of the shoot. She appeared again, along with Belmondo, in Godard's first color film, A Woman Is a Woman (1961), which was intended as a homage to the American musical . Adjustments that Godard made to the original version of the story gave it autobiographical resonances, 'specifically in regard to his relationship with Anna Karina'. The film revealed 'the confinement within the four walls of domestic life', and 'the emotional and artistic fault lines that threatened their relationship'. 
The film won the Golden Lion at the 1961 Venice Film Festival . In 1962 it won the critics' award in the category Best Film of the Syndicat Français de la Critique de cinéma in France. The film was selected as the French entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 34th Academy Awards in 1962, but was not accepted as a nominee.  However, it was nominated for the 1963 Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay ( Alain Robbe-Grillet )  and it was also nominated for a Hugo Award as Best Dramatic Presentation .