A musical comedy set in the fast-paced, fast-food world of competing falafel stands on the West Bank. David, an Israeli soldier, falls in love with Fatima, a beautiful Palestinian cashier, ...
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A musical comedy set in the fast-paced, fast-food world of competing falafel stands on the West Bank. David, an Israeli soldier, falls in love with Fatima, a beautiful Palestinian cashier, despite the animosity between their families' dueling restaurants. Can the couple's love withstand a 58-year-old conflict and their families' desire to control the future of the chick pea in the Middle East? Written by
Brilliant--and this was a student film--not a studio production!
Ari Sandel was a film student when he directed and co-wrote this amazing short film. Despite this less than impressive pedigree, the film ended up winning the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film for 2006 and is among the best shorts I have ever seen--and I've seen a lot!! Considering the title, it wasn't too surprising that this film is a gentle and funny parody of WEST SIDE STORY. However, instead of being set in New York, it's on the West Bank and instead of the Sharks and Jets, the two warring groups are Palestinians and Jews. Despite the seriousness of the problems in Israel and the occupied territories, I was happily surprised that the film was NOT heavy-handed and it was in fact very, very funny. It was a gentle spoof of the problems and hatreds and unless someone is a humorless idiot, there is a lot to love in the film.
Of course there is a girl and a boy (just like in Romeo and Juliet) caught in the struggle--but instead of Capulettes and Montagues or Sharks and Jets, it's a struggle between rival fast food joints--the Kosher King and the Hummus Hut! The hats, the dialog, the songs all work together perfectly to create the mood and pull the viewer into the film.
Not at all surprisingly, this film won the Oscar but I also felt a bit sad for the losers that year, as HELMER & SON and ONE TOO MANY were also amazingly good (and funny) short films.
My advice is to see all of these films--they are included in the DVD "A Collection of 2006 Academy Award Nominated Short Films"--a must-have for fans of the genre. Also, keep your eye out for Ari Sandel--that guy is going places and I can't wait to see what he does next! 10 out of 10--my very highest rating.
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