Monday, February 24, 2014
"Omar", by Hany Abu-Assad: double lives on the West Bank, and Hitchcock-like twiists
“Omar”, by Hany Abu-Assad, is another film about double lives on the West Bank. Actually, it is a well-crafted thriller with plot twists toward the end that seem inspired by Hitchcock (perhaps “Saboteur”).
As the film opens, Omar (Adam Bakri) is trying to climb “The Wall” like SpideMan, and getting shot at. Soon, we see his family life in a crowded West Bank town, where everyone has to go through checkpoints to go to work. He routinely risks the wall to see his girlfriend Nadja (Lee Lubany). Omar is lean, agile, and handsome.
Soon Omar and some of his pals show their solidarity by shooting an Israeli soldier as snipers. It’s one of who friends who fires the bullet. But Omar (after many foot chases through the crowded Nablus streets) is captured. After some extreme rendition (resembling the film of that name, as well as “Midnight Express”) and jail, Omar agrees to play double agent, with the fatherly intelligence chief Rami (Waleed Zuaiter). His loyalty to his friends, his cause, his girl friend, family and everything else will be tested in constant double crosses. Part of the plot involves a pregnancy, and another part involves his level of skill with weapons. The final scene will please the NRA.
I saw this film at the Angelika Mosaic in Merrifield, VA before a substantial late Sunday crowd
The official site from Adopt Films and The Match Factory is here.
The film certainly demonstrates the confiscation of Palestinian lives because the Israelis see all of them as enemies. The work of George Meek and the IFPB has been documented on my International Issues blog Dec. 23, 2012 and May 20, 2013.
Wikipedia attribution link for picture of Separation Wall.