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Flash Movie Review: Omar

THERE ARE SO MANY ADJECTIVES to accompany the feelings of love. Each qualifying word describes a different level or intensity to one’s love. There is deep love, crazy love, stupid love, unexpected love and mad love to name a few. I still remember this couple’s story on how they met. There was a famous nightclub in the city. Not being a drinker he never ventured into the club; in fact, despite all the hoopla about the place it held very little interest for him. It had been a long time since he was in a relationship and he was starting to feel lonely as his group of friends were starting to partner up and become couples. So one evening he was driving home from work and decided if there was a parking space in front of the nightclub he would park and go inside. Well as you may have guessed a spot opened up when a car pulled out of its parking spot just as he was driving up to the club. He parked his car, walked inside and searched for the restrooms. Making his way through the crowd of people he accidently bumped into someone who was also looking for a restroom. When each of them came back out they struck up a conversation. He offered to buy a drink so they made their way to a table. From that 1st drink and conversation they became bonded, each felt sparks and they have been together now over 30 years.     I GUESS YOU COULD SAY they had instant love. Though I have not experienced that immediate rush of emotions, where I want to spend the rest of my life with that individual right away, I have seen it happen with other people. Love has such a strong influence on one’s actions and thoughts. Don’t you love when the person you fall in love with takes up a permanent residence in your mind and heart? By them being there any and all trials and tribulations of the day seem manageable, if not easier to handle. Knowing there is someone who supports you, accepts you with unconditional love creates a powerful connection where one might even feel invincible. I have seen where someone was so in love that it affected their common sense; however, I have never seen anything on the scale of danger that the main character in this romantic thriller was willing to do.     FOR PALESTINIAN OMAR, PLAYED BY Adam Bakri (Slam, Ali and Nino), to pay a visit to Nadia, played by Leem Lubany (Rock the Kasbah, From A to B), he would have to scale a border wall. That action alone could get him killed. This Oscar nominated, film festival winning movie also starred Waleed Zvaiter (London Has Fallen, 20th Century Women) as Agent Rami, Samer Bisharat (The State-TV, The Looming Tower-TV) as Amjad and Eyad Hourani (Rattle the Cage, Medinah-TV) as Tarek. The cast was excellent which made the scenes with tension more intense. There was a chase scene where I realized I was holding my breath. The story was unbelievable and the script allowed the viewer to experience a variety of emotions. I prefer not to get into the political aspects of this picture, but it was hard to watch some of the scenes. At time riveting, at time tender; this foreign film displayed the strength of a person’s love that could not get broken. Arabic and Hebrew were spoken with English subtitles.


3 ½ stars — DVD



Flash Movie Review: Omar

JUST AS YESTERDAY’S REVIEW talked about love, so does today’s in a slightly different vein. I have seen among my friends and family members who were in love their ability to disregard or disconnect themselves from common sense. A friend of mine was in a toxic relationship; she did not know it at the time, but it was obvious to her friends. She had been telling us these stories about her significant other that bordered on being outlandish—to those who could think rationally. I was told the reason this guy was not working a steady job was because he had gotten a huge inheritance. My question to her was why he borrowed money from her time to time. The response given was his funds weren’t always liquid; in other words, he was waiting for a CD to mature or a dividend payment to arrive. I hear you; I wasn’t buying it either. One day we all happened to be together when he mentioned something about his stocks. I asked him a couple of questions and discovered he was lying; his so called stock dividend payment was coming from a company I knew did not pay dividends.     HERE IS THE THING THOUGH, when someone is deeply in love they may not want to hear comments from friends or choose not to believe them anyway. Being in love doesn’t always mean one will remain rational. I have learned not to offer an opinion unless I am directly asked; even then I do my best to offer my comments without any judgments. As I mentioned in my previous review love is a powerful emotion; there is no way I am going to go up against that force. Besides love having the ability to cloud one’s judgment, it can also put a person in danger. If I think about it the dangerous aspects may come about from that disconnect I mentioned earlier; but regardless, there is a reason you have heard the term, “acts of passion,” in criminal cases. Gratefully I have not encountered anyone committing such an extreme thing, though I have known some people to put themselves in harm’s way due to love. Right from the start I was nervous for the main character in this Oscar nominated, dramatic romance.     LOVE HAD A HOLD on Omar, played by Adam Bakri (Slam, Ali and Nino). To visit Nadia, played by Leem Lubany (Rock the Kasbah, From A to B), he had to scale an Israeli built border wall. The baker was willing to take the risk but how long could his luck hold out? This film festival winning thriller also starred Waleed Zuaiter (The Men Who Stare at Goats, London Has Fallen) as Agent Rami, Samer Bisharat (The Aquatic Effect, The State-TV) as Amjad and Eyad Hourani (Rattle the Cage, Medinah-TV) as Tarek. Being set in the occupied territories already added an element of tension to the story, besides the characters’ actions. I was pulled into this film quickly due to the conflicts presented in the script; there were the physical conflicts between the Israelis and Palestinians along with the conflicts of love. With landscapes unfamiliar to me, I felt I was transported into the characters’ city which only enhanced the excellent acting I had already noticed by the actors. I liked the way the director kept the story moving without delving into the political aspects too much. For myself I had to watch this DVD without judging the reality of the story. Keeping that in mind this was an intense story about love. Arabic and Hebrew were spoken with English subtitles.


3 ½ stars — DVD



Flash Movie Review: 5 Broken Cameras

The playing field is never fair when the rules get changed in the middle of the game. This applies to any type of situation; I have experienced it at the office. We agree to sell a customer a product on net 30 terms then after it ships the customer tells us they will be making 3 monthly payments. They just decided to change the payment terms after the fact without ever discussing it prior to the sale. Some people would just say life is not fair and I get it; however, it still is offensive and frustrating to me. Besides seeing it on television shows I see it reported in the media how the rules change, where for example someone does not get convicted of a crime due to a technical detail or some such other thing. There have been so many incidents where I have seen this very thing, where people know how to play the system. You may have seen on the news where a long-term homeowner loses their house due to a misunderstanding regarding the taxes on the property and someone else swoops in to pay the sales tax and take possession of the property, kicking out the previous owner. It makes me angry just thinking about it and it is the same type of anger I felt while watching this disturbing documentary. Now I do not want to get into the politics of the situation, nor take any sides; I am just reviewing this film for entertainment value. I will say to sit and watch this DVD was compelling.    VILLAGERS who had lived their entire life in the small Palestinian town called Bil’in were suddenly told the land was not theirs anymore. A separation barrier was going to be installed to keep them away from Israeli settlers. This former Oscar nominated, film festival winning movie was directed by Emad Burnat, one of the residents. He used 5 video cameras to record his personal story regarding the situation that was taking place around him. The way he told his story was impressive simply due to the dangers he had to encounter. I especially found it poignant the way he used his 4 sons as time markers for his story; it put things into perspective. My anger as I watched this film came from the way the rules were being changed to stymie the villagers, who were maintaining non-violent resistance. There was however a few graphic scenes that showed blood. When some people see or hear about a conflict far from them, they may become immune to the action. For this movie that was not the case because it was done on such a personal level. The idea of each camera having to take over from the previous one once it could no longer function formed perfectly spaced chapters. It would be hard to ignore such powerful images. Arabic spoken with English subtitles.


3 1/2 stars — DVD




Flash Movie Review: The Other Son

The dirty words like the “F” and “S” word were okay to say in my family; they were used mostly as adjectives. My parents taught me and my brothers that slang words used to describe a person’s race, religion or nationality were bad words. Growing up I was always confused when I heard someone use these derogatory words. I wondered how that person became prejudiced, since none of us were born to be bigots. Knowing this about me, you will understand why I was so moved by this outstanding film. The story was thought-provoking, inspirational and fascinating to me. Can you tell I loved this movie? Imagine the shock two families faced when they each discovered the child they were raising was not their own. The two babies were accidentally switched at birth. If that was not horrific enough for each family, imagine what was going through the parents’ minds when they found out they were not the same–one family was Israeli and the other was Palestinian. Each family member not only would have to face their fears and beliefs, but would have their love tested like it had never been before. There was not one moment where my mind wandered away from this brilliant story. The actors did a beautiful job of conveying deep emotions with minimal effort. Emmanuelle Devos (Read My Lips, Coco Before Chanel) as Israeli mother Orith Silberg and Areen Omari (Private, Laila’s Birthday) as Palestinian mother Leila Al Bezaaz were incredible in their roles. Portraying a real mixture of innocence and fearfulness, the two switched boys were played by Mehdi Dehbi (Looking For Simon, He is my Girl) as Palestinian Yacine Al Bezaaz and Jules Sitruk (I, Cesar; Monsieur Batignole) as Israeli Joseph Silberg. This film did an exquisite job of being a reflection to people’s beliefs, fears and soul. French, Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles. One brief scene of violence with blood.

4 stars

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