(Sof Shavua B’Tel Aviv)
DVD Review by Kam Williams
Headline: Arab Suicide Bomber Falls for Jew on Way to Detonation
Tarek (Shredi Jabarin) is a young Palestinian man who has reluctantly decided to serve as a suicide bomber after being pressured by his radical Muslim neighbors in Nazarene. So, after having enough plastic explosives strapped to his chest to blow himself and all the shoppers at an outdoor market to smithereens, he sets out for the city of Tel Aviv.
After arriving in town, Tarek finds a plaza packed with Jews, but ends up frustrated when he squeezes the trigger and nothing happens. Following several attempts, he ventures to a repair shop where he is befriended by its cantankerous, but soft-hearted proprietor, Katz (Shlomo Vishinsky). Katz, unaware of the planned use for the malfunctioning switch, offers to order the part, and tells Tarek to come back in a couple days.
To kill time before his date with destiny, the walking IED saunters over to the kiosk of Keren (Hili Yalon), a 17 year-old rebel who’s been disowned by her Hassidic family. She’s being shunned for refusing to dress modestly, wear a wig and generally abide by the dictates of their orthodox traditions.
Their chance meeting leaves Keren smitten with Tarek and eager to get better acquainted. As they start spending some quality time together, he hides the truth about why he’s in town. Sparks fly, and a lazy bike ride through the countryside leads to the proverbial long walk along the shore at sunset. However, just when romance is on the verge of blossoming, Tarek is reminded by increasingly urgent phone calls that he’s there to wreak havoc not to make whoopee.
Will these star-crossed lovers ditch their respective repressive religions and intolerant associates to prove to the world that Jews and Palestinians are capable of not merely coexisting but of copulating as well? This is the question which For My Father urgently attempts to address with the specter of an imminent blast always hanging over our shamelessly-flirtatious protagonists’ heads.
A melodramatic morality play which sends the sobering message that suicide bombing does not pay, especially when you could just as easily seduce as splatter the sexy object of your detonation.
Very Good (3 stars)
In Hebrew and Arabic with subtitles.
Running time: 100 Minutes
Distributor: Film Movement
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
(Sof Shavua B’Tel Aviv)