Omar, the 2013 Palestinian drama directed by Hany Abu-Assad has won a slew of awards. I went to see it at Cinema Nouveau after it opened. Great movie!
The acting is good, with Adam Bakri as a thoroughly plausible and vulnerable Omar, Eyad Hourani as Tarek, Samer Bisharat as Amjad and Waleed Zuaiter as Agent Rami and Leem Lubany as Nadia.
Apparently the structure of the story, a tale of love, nationalism, war, personal conflict, ethical choices, betrayal and bitterness, was written in four hours and the script took four days. Inspired stuff indeed. It was filmed in Nazareth in Israel, Nablus and the Far’a refugee camp.
There will never be an end to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and this movie portrays the difficulties of the protagonists realistically, without whipping up of emotions in the audience. The strength of the movie is that it is a “slice of life” with all its complexities, but without rhetoric. I found that refreshing. It would have worked as well set in any war, but this one is current and engaging.
This is definitely one of those 9/10 movies which should be seen by everyone. Highly recommended.