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Cinema in Exile (Perspectives on Palestine & Israel)
This film has a very distinguished style and sense of humor for such a dark topic on the conflict of Israel and Palestine. It reflects three generations of the conflict through the perspective of Es (the protagonist) who plays a child, a teenager and an elder man. He never speaks perhaps as a metaphor representing the voiceless. One thing I was also able to appreciate as an Egyptian audience, the Egyptian songs by Laila Mourad and Mohamed Abdel Wahab, as well as some Egyptian news references, like on the death of Egypt's President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1970. Something that a Western audience may not at all experience in the same way a Middle Eastern or Arabic Audience would, is almost like a cheery on the icing for people of that culture, a little gift made exclusively for us, that only we can feel nostalgic about and understand the reference to that culture and era. This film portrays the issue as a gray issue and does no only show the oppressive and inhuman acts of the Israeli Militants, like when they throw Es' father off a cliff. A few scenes show a very human side to them as well, like in the scene when they call out to stop a dance party because of curfew, the first idea that came to mind was the cultural deprivation, but when the military figures start dancing to the music track, it highlights that both sides unite by liking the same music. In another scene, when Israeli military move furniture items onto a truck, the listen to music and smoke cigarettes, somehow very subtly reveals them as ordinary military base figures on duty, it does not look so different from Egyptian bases. He also does not glorify all Palestinians as victims. We get to see a Palestinian who joins the Israeli military and is perceived as a traitor, and called out on it, but he explains later how he needs the work to feed his family. Another very interesting portrayal of how a land under an occupation becomes so natural and part of the backdrop and landscape of the environment, like in the scene when a guy on the cell phone who walks back and forth is pointed at with a tank tracking his every move. The guy does not react at all. This film had a very promising subtle message that the issue is gray and complicated and it seems to be a wish to focus on the good sides in both sides and bringing people together.
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