Set against a backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Palestinian rapper Kareem and his singer girlfriend Manar struggle, love and make music in their crime-ridden ghetto and Tel Aviv's hip-hop club scene.
Junction 48 is the love story of two young Palestinian hip-hop artists who use their music to fight against both the external oppression of Israeli society and the internal repression of their own crime-ridden, conservative community. It depicts a new generation of young Arabs who seek normality through their love and music - and against all odds.
The Israeli film Junction 48 (2016) was directed by Udi Aloni. It stars Tamer Nafar is Kareem, a Palestinian living in Israel. (Nafar also co-wrote the screenplay.) The movie costars the intriguing Samar Qupty as his girlfriend Manar.
The film begins with a family tragedy, for which Tamer is indirectly responsible. His feelings of guilt are justified, because he ignored a reasonable request from his father in order to hang out with his friends who live within the drug culture. Of course, any Palestinian living in Israel may want to cope with the daily humiliations of life by turning to drugs. They're not hardened criminals. These guys may be druggies, but they aren't evil.
What keeps Tamer above water is rap music. He says he's going to be the first famous Israeli Palestinian rap musician, and we can see that he might have the talent to be just that. He's popular with Palestinians, but the question is whether he can cross over and be accepted by Israelis.
Manar likes Kareem, and she likes rap music, but the Palestinian elders like neither rap nor Kareem. That means that the couple is being pushed from both sides. How this problem is resolved--or not resolved--represents the plot of the movie.
We saw this film on the large screen in the excellent Little Theatre in Rochester, New York. It was shown as part of the outstanding Witness Palestine Rochester Film Festival. The movie will work well on the small screen. Junction 48 is carrying a modest IMDb rating of 6.9. It's not a must-see film, but it's much better than that.
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