Fellow Movie Lovers
There has been an amazing response to the Academy Award Contest, with so many variables. If there is more than one winner the prize will be the same for each one of the victors: ten movies for two at the theatre of your choice. Your names will not be published unless the pleasure of gloating cannot be resisted. If I win there will be a billboard boasting my success at every overpass, train and bus station, the Post Office, and the closest airport! Good luck! Final entry date: Friday, March 5th.
Nominated in the Best Foreign Film Category this Israeli/Pakistani movie is of Herculean intentions but with Lilliputian results. First time filmmakers Yaron Shani (Israeli) and Scandar Copti (Palestinian, from Israel) concentrate the action in the town of Ajami, a multi-ethnic section of Jaffa. The events partially based on the co-directors experiences are not enlightening; we see the hatred, destruction of innocent lives, prejudice and its lethal consequences on television, in newspapers and the internet every day, it is inescapable.
The filming technique is reminiscent of a hand held camera creating a quasi documentary
aesthetic; using unschooled actors (this was a major mistake); a professional would have given some depth and passion that was so absent from the neophytes. The audience trapped in this dark, disjointed and disillusioned world, felt the hopelessness and the never to be resolved solution, just an eternity of despair. Here Copti and Shani have a brief brush with success.
The only glimmer of light was shed by the performance of Copti as Binj, the Palestinian chef who courageously and briefly loves a Jewish girl.
This anecdotal film reflects the lives of two men who dared to deify their differences, ignore the prejudices of their respective religions and cultures and form a partnership, still rocky, but with tenacity might thrive well into the laurels of film history. I pray so!
TWO & 1/2 STARS!
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