A musical comedy set in the fast-paced, fast-food world of dueling falafel restaurants on the West Bank. David, an Israeli soldier, falls in love with Fatima, the beautiful Palestinian ...
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A musical comedy set in the fast-paced, fast-food world of dueling falafel restaurants on the West Bank. David, an Israeli soldier, falls in love with Fatima, the beautiful Palestinian cashier of her family's falafel restaurant which competes with an Israeli falafel restaurant. Can the couple's love withstand a 58-year-old conflict?Written by
Anonymous, edited by Michael
amiable enough skewering of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict with fast food and singing
Strange that West Bank Story didn't live up completely to my expectations, but then again I only knew about the film- and anticipated it- from the five second clip shown during the Oscars (right before it won), with a high crane shot showing a bunch of Israelis and Palestinians dancing in the street. It was something out of left field among the nominees, and it gave me and those watching the Oscars a big belly laugh. Unfortunately the actual 22 minute short film only contains some scattered laughs, and doesn't go so much for outrageous political satire as much as lighter skewering of the two sides in a simple context: fast-food. West Bank Story gives us the two chains- Hummus Hut and Kosher King- each with their own wacky decorum (Hummus Hut with their kebab-hats, and the one employee at Kosher King in a large menorah costume, the latter being maybe the funniest sight gag), and equal hatred for the other.
A plot is hatched by Kosher King to build a wall ("Jews in construction?" is the Hummus Hut's response), while the other plots to simply burn down their opponent. But meanwhile, the sister-employee of the head of Hummus Hut falls for an Israeli soldier, and the two of them try to get the two sides to stop fighting. Sprinkled throughout this short are some funny moments of cultural lampooning, like hummus being confused with Hamas, and a split-screen during a musical number with Kosher King and Hummus Hut ending in an argument between which side is encroaching on the other. But overall trhe only criticism, however a significant one, is that it's so brief that only so much can be done with the material, and yet the director Sandel and the writers only go after a few specific things, leaving out more scathing possibilities, ala Mel Brooks or other, to go for the jugular with a touchy topic. It's a safe little comedy, but worth watching at least once, with some catchy songs and small winks to the original Wise/Robbins classic.
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