Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bikur Ha-Tizmoret

Written and directed by Eran Kolirin

Stars: Sasson Gabai, Ronit Elkabetz, Saleh Bakri, Khalifa Natour, Rubi Moskovitz, Uri Gavriel, Imad Jabarin, Shlomi Avraham
The Band's Visit is one of those movies that have been talked about and universally praised that I had to see what the fuss what about. Seeing the movie on the library shelf, I was hesitant that I might not like it. I did. A lot.
The movie is about a group of Egyptian police musicians called Alexandria Ceremonial Orchestra travel to Israel for a last ditch effort to save the band from budget cuts. Upon arriving what they think Beit Hatikva instead of Petah Tiqva, they have to stay with a worldly diner owner, Dina (Ronit Elkabetz) for the night. These people that should be enemies find a common bond around music.
The film won the Audience Prize Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. It was a lock to be nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, but the movie was disqualified because most of the film's language was in English.

Doing a movie with competing nationalities can be tricky. It could go in Crash territory really fast. The movie as a whole is a comedy of errors of sorts. The humor is from the uncomfortable silences as some people are stuck in their ways while others did not.

I enjoyed the natural progression of the relationship between Dina and leader of the group, the uptight Lieutenant-colonel Tawfiq Zacharya (Sasson Gabai). You would never think think these people would form a bond and they managed to do that beautifully. There was one scene that made me choke up when Tawfiq told Dina about his son.

The best focal point of the movie was the music. I don't know that much traditional Arab music, but I was enthralled. This movie really should be experienced once.

My Rating:

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