(out of 5)

Omar is Palestinian and participates with his friends in violent resistance against Israeli soldiers occupying his territory.  He also has a secret love affair happening with Nadia, planning to marry her when he has saved up enough money and is ready to tell his best friend, who is also her brother, that he wants to make a life with her.  When he is arrested by the Israeli military and tricked into a confession, he is then placed in the position of having to either work as informant for the police and betray his friends or face going to prison for decades.  What transpires is a subtly nuanced, dramatically powerful tale whose details are fascinating and whose wholly sympathetic characters draw you into their world completely.  Omar tries to play both sides of the game in the hopes of getting out with everything he wants from life, but whether it is the outside force standing in his way or the internal betrayals of his peers, everyone made vulnerable by the fear of not achieving their own goals, remains to be seen.  Skilfully directed by Hany Abu-Assad and featuring an outstanding cast, this is a dark tale of human fallibility that will remain on your mind for days:  Abu-Assad manages to describe the tense situation that his protagonists on both sides live in with sharp criticism but without relying on rhetoric or ideology, and scene after scene unfolds with a sense of smooth spontaneity that never feels contrived, not even when it boils down to a conclusion that threatens melodrama.

Palestine, 2013

Directed by Hany Abu-Assad

Screenplay by Hany Abu-Assad

Cinematography by 

Produced by Hany Abu-Assad, ,

Production Design by ,

Costume Design by ,

Film Editing by ,

Academy Awards:  2013

Toronto International Film Festival:  2013



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