I recently watched The Band’s Visit (Click for Wikipedia). It is the story of a police orchestra going to Israel but ending up in the wrong town for the night. We get to see the interaction of the band and the natives.
First off I must admit that I don’t know a lot about the Israeli-Egyptian relationship except that it probably isn’t the greatest. I know that there is some animosity but I am sure the film would have had much more meaning if I knew more about the countries involved.
Even without knowing much about the above I really enjoyed The Band’s visit. It shows the interactions of real people in a small (fictional) town in Israel. A lot of times movies tend to focus on the big cities but I think there are good stories to tell in small towns too. The film is in Arabic (the Egyptians), Hebrew (the Israelis) and English (the common language of both).
The story seems to focus on the Band conductor Tawfiq. From the outset he seems like a hard man and as the movie goes on we learn more about him. Another character to watch is Haled, the young buck of the group. The roller skating scene had me laughing out loud.
I enjoyed the mix of languages in this movie. English was the way the two groups communicated. According to Wikipedia this movie was submitted for Israel’s Foreign Language submission but it was rejected because over half of the dialogue is in English. I did have a hard time understanding some of the words but overall I did pretty well with it.
For me this movie was memorable because of the small town portrayal, the look at everyday normal lives, and the bit of scenery we get to see. Overall I would recommend this movie and I am glad I ran across it at the library.
Have you seen any good movies lately?