Strangers (2003) Poster

(I) (2003)

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Just the right size
rgcustomer13 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is a film about competing prejudices.

The setting itself is interesting, because (as Wikipedia just told me) the Carmelit used as the setting in this film is Israel's only subway. It's on a slight incline, so the subway station and cars themselves are custom-designed specifically for that line, and they are never quite horizontal, due to the varying geography. This fixes the location of the film in Israel, although the French announcements, and English and German signage are probably there to make you think this is taking place in Europe, or some generic big-city subway. Anyway, I love the cars, but knowing that it is in Israel does harm the plot somewhat because almost all of the characters would have behaved differently.

The guy already seated is reading an Arabic-language newspaper, with a photo of some demonstration or riot (it goes by too fast to tell). The guy who just got on the subway has a Star-of-David necklace, and makes a point of jostling it so that the newspaper guy notices. This might be taken a number of different ways (including cruising) but I think the intent is that these two guys are not happy to be on the same train, probably because one is an Arab or Muslim and the other is Jewish, each holding some prejudices about the other, but they tolerate each other's presence.

The duo's subtle stare-off is interrupted by a group of Nazi skinheads, who deface the newspaper and intimidate that guy. The necklace guy has hidden his necklace, so he escapes confrontation, until his phone rings, exposing his Hava Nagila ring-tone.

The two escape violent attack by running and exiting opposite sides of the car, but each has the other's bag. They throw each other their bags, and their attitudes have completely changed, from this shared experience escaping from a common enemy. They leave separately, but exchange a smile.

Nothing to do with this short, but I found it interesting to learn that there has been at least one report of home-grown Nazi skinheads in Israel, since this film was made.
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In The End, We All Need One Another
DarylKMiddlebrook2 March 2015
Erez Tadmor and Guy Nattiv's short film Strangers is a compelling and thought-provoking film that reveals the barriers created in society by religion and ethnicity. The film begins with two passengers sharing a subway car. One of the men is Muslim (assumed based on the Arabic newspaper he's reading), the other Israeli (the tip-off here is the Jewish Star of David he proudly displays around his neck). As the title says, they're strangers, but their cultural animosity is centuries old.

As the Jewish passenger takes his seat, he immediately reacts to the other passenger's Arabic newspaper. Knowing nothing of this man, he begins making his own judgments, is this stranger on the train sympathetic to terrorists? Is he one himself? It's not long before the Arabic passenger is cognizant of the strange man "dirty looks" towards him. His eyes quickly fall on the Star of David symbol dangling from the man's neck and begin to reciprocate similar emotions. Is this man Israeli military or police? Has he gunned down protesters and jailed innocent people?

What looks like a film about Arab and Jewish relations is given a sharp and unexpected twist when the threat of a common adversary cause the two men to reevaluate their own prejudices. But can they work together for their own good, or are the wounds of cultural antagonism ingrained too deep?

Shot with no dialog, the filmmakers have succeeded in piecing together a movie that will keep you spellbound for its entire seven-minute length. The suspense at first between the Arab and Jewish passenger merely sets the stage for the intense action to come, an accomplishment that would have made the legendary Alfred Hitchcock proud.
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Peace Has No Race....
manjodude18 March 2012
An excellent movie with masterful direction & apt music that sets the atmosphere of what follows.

As many of the viewers expressed about this flick in Youtube, there's no dialogs whatsoever but the actions of each character clearly tells the story to us.

All the actors were engaging, especially the baldie who sits just opposite to the Muslim reading the paper. His stares gave me the chills.

The chase & the outcome at the end was thrilling.

Verdict: I feel it's a must see for the sake of humanity & peace.
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Ruined By The Location Filming
Theo Robertson31 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This short film by Israelis Guy Nattiv and Erez Tadmore makes a very important point about the human condition and that is whilst we may think of ourselves being divided in to tribes it is our actions for what we should be judged upon . An Arab man sits on a train reading his newspaper and notices the man sitting across from him wearing a Star Of David chain which marks him out as a Jew . The Jew in turn notices the Arabic writing on the newspaper . Two people from two supposed tribes with a history of animosity between one another try to ignore each other until a group of Neo-Nazis enter the carriage

Fellow commentator rgcustomer hit the nail on the head when he pointed out the location as being uniquely in Israel . From the outset I believed this was supposed to be set in Israel so why would an Israeli be concerned about someone reading an Arabic newspaper since a large proportion of Israeli Jews come from Arab nations . Likewise along with Hebrew Arabic is one of two official languages in Israel so there's nothing illogical in thinking the location is meant to be in the State Of Israel . It makes everything totally confusing however when the Neo-Nazis appear which had me asking out loud if Hitler worshiping gangs were common there ? It's not until the train doors open and we hear an announcement in French that I suddenly realised the film is supposedly set in France even though the location design looks nothing like the French Metro

This ruined much of the short for me sadly because there is a very good message , though slightly too obvious , that we shouldn't judge anyone by their ethnic origin . Perhaps STRANGERS more than any other film I have seen should serve as a warning to other film makers that the often overlooked aspect of making locations totally convincing if a film should succeed
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Very, very simple but well made and interesting
MartinHafer7 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This is a film about antisemitism. There are a couple guys on a subway and they appear semitic in coloring and hair. A group of three tough skinheads get on the train and begin trying to intimidate the guys--it's obvious that someone is about to get hurt. However, when an odd diversion occurs, the two take the opportunity to get away--leaving the evil punks behind.

Considering how much antisemitism has been on the rise in Europe the last decade or so, this is a very timely film. However, I am not sure what impact it will have other than providing a little laugh, as the problem is deeper than this simple little film. On the other hand, since sometimes when there isn't much you can do, laughing at an ugly situation is good enough--like this film.

Cute, well made and worth a look.
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