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Tuesday, October 6, 2009


On their way to an Islamic cultural center in Israel, a small Egyptian police band gets lost and has to spend the night in a sleepy backwater (back-desert?) town. The locals treat these strangers in a strange land with such good-natured hospitality that by morning friendships & personal confidences have bypassed decades of enmity & suspicion. Megger Eran Kolirin handles this family-of-man stuff in a pleasingly deadpan manner, but the story line is modest to a fault, rarely blossoming to its full potential. Right from the opening credits, which roll out in both Arabic & Hebrew, the film seems afraid of stepping out of line and jeopardizing all those international awards it’s salivating over. You can see a bit of what might have been in the film’s best scene, a one-shot wonder with a shy Israeli nebbish getting a lesson in how to handle a woman (sitting to his right) from the youngest/handsomest band member (sitting to his left). But it's merely a sampler of the mordant Ari Kaurismaki style the film seems to be aiming for.

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