Habibi Rasak Kharban

85 minutes 2013

This American-Palestinian coproduction paints a vivid picture of daily life in the occupied territories, though it's fairly heavy-handed as drama. A young man who writes poetry and a young woman who's studying engineering pursue their romance despite her father's disapproval, but the volatile political climate makes their quest for a safe haven virtually impossible. Writer-director Susan Youssef has cited a seventh-century epic poem, "Majnun and Layla," as her inspiration, and in the film it serves as the young man's verse. Unfortunately her filmmaking is too prosaic for the literary reference to resonate. In Arabic with subtitles.

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