Sharqiya

82 minutes 2013

A young bedouin man spends hours commuting to and from his dead-end job as a security guard at an Israeli bus station, only to hear his family members deride him as a loser when he gets home. This 2012 Israeli feature is constructed like a shaggy-dog joke: When government officials show up threatening to raze the family settlement in the Negev Desert, the development seems no more burdensome than anything else the poor schmuck has to deal with. First-time director Ami Livne adopts a fitting deadpan approach, maintaining the same documentary-style objectivity regardless of the on-screen action. The movie is somewhat monotonous, but its comic insights resonate in hindsight. In Arabic and Hebrew with subtitles.

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