Omar | Chicago Reader


Rated NR 98 minutes 2013

This gripping Palestinian thriller (2013) evokes Gillo Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers (1966) in its depiction of not only the psychological pressures faced by people under occupation, but the murky moral consequences of retaliating against one's oppressors. The young title character (Adam Bakri), a fiery West Bank freedom fighter, is coerced by Israeli officials into becoming a double agent, and as the figurative walls begin to close in, so do the literal ones. Director Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now) highlights the narrow passageways of the film's setting, a nameless West Bank village that increasingly resembles an impoverished, war-torn labyrinth, and the primary visual motif is a gigantic wall the protagonist must scale in order to see his sweetheart. Abu-Assad may be a tad too smitten with his own symbolism, but he keeps the action on point, and the ambiguous denouement is chilling. In Hebrew and Arabic with subtitles.

Film Credits

Director: Hany Abu-Assad

Producer: David Gerson, Waleed Zuaiter, Waleed Al-Ghafari, Zahi Khouri, Suhail Sikhtian, Ahmad Zuaiter, Abbas Zuaiter and Dr. Farouq Zuaiter

Cast: Waleed Zuaiter, Adam Bakri, Leem Lubany, Samer Bisharat, Eyad Hourani and Rohl Ayadi

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