The Band's Visit

This debut feature by writer-director Eran Kolirin follows the confusions and minor comic adventures of the eight-piece Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra, which sets off from Egypt to perform at an Arab cultural center in Israel and gets stranded in the wrong town on the edge of a desert. Not much of consequence happens, apart from the musicians communicating with the locals in English and getting housed and fed and entertained by a few of them. But Kolirin has a fine sense of where to place the camera and when to cut between shots for maximum comic effect, and his two lead actors—Sasson Gabai as the band's conductor and Ronit Elkabetz (Or) as one of the locals—are terrific. (Incidentally, both are Israeli Jews.) In English and subtitled Arabic and Hebrew. PG-13, 87 min.

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