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On an ordinary day, the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra arrives in Israel from Egypt for a cultural event, only find there is no delegation to meet them, nor any arrangements to get to their destination of Petah Tiqva. When they find their own ride, they arrive instead at the remote town of Beit Hatikva. Stuck there until the next morning's bus, the band, lead by the repressed Tawfiq Zacharaya, gets help from the worldly lunch owner, Dina, who offers to put them up for the night. As the band settles in as best it can, each of the members attempts to get along with the natives in their own way. What follows is a special night of quiet happenings and confessions as the band makes its own impact on the town and the town on them. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The movie was selected to be Israel's Official Submission to the Best Foreign Language Film Category of The 80th Annual Academy Awards (2008), but it was disqualified by AMPAS because more than 50% of the film's dialogue was found to be in English, as opposed to Arabic and Hebrew. After an unsuccessful appeal, Israel sent Beaufort (2007) instead. See more »
When speaking in Arabic, Tawfiq pronounces some words with the Egyptian Arabic pronunciation, and some words with the Palestinian Arabic pronunciation. Being an Egyptian, he should talk in Egyptian Arabic dialect all the time. See more »
Greetings again from the darkness. Stellar film from rising star, Israeli filmmaker Eran Kolirin. This film offers the beautifully delivered message that regardless of our culture, we all want to be connected to another person. Other than the language we speak, we really aren't so dissimilar.
The Egyptian Police Orchestra is stranded on their way to play at the opening of an Arab Culture Center. The language barrier causes them to be stuck in a one-horse town with a similar type name. What follows is a touching story and terrific film-making. So much is communicated with so few words.
There are three of four amazing scenes. My favorite is probably the funniest in the film. At the roller rink, one of the band members assists an awkward local with the proper technique in consoling a girl whose feelings he has hurt. It is funny and touching and moving and insightful all at once. The band leader's scenes with Dena, the beautiful and lonely restaurateur who takes the band in for the evening, are so emotional and sincere that I kept wanting to scream at them both! Just great stuff.
I look forward to more from Eran Kolirin and it is very sad that this film was disqualified in the Foreign Language category due to the determination that too much English was used. Still, it doesn't change the fact that this is a terrific movie and story.
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