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The Band's Visit (2007)

Bikur Ha-Tizmoret (original title)
PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 21 March 2008 (USA)
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A band comprised of members of the Egyptian police force head to Israel to play at the inaugural ceremony of an Arab arts center, only to find themselves lost in the wrong town.

Director:

Eran Kolirin

Writer:

Eran Kolirin
46 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Sasson Gabai ... Lieutenant-colonel Tawfiq Zacharya
Ronit Elkabetz ... Dina
Saleh Bakri ... Haled
Khalifa Natour ... Simon
Rubi Moskovitz Rubi Moskovitz ... Itzik
Uri Gavriel ... Avrum
Imad Jabarin ... Major-general Camal Abdel Azim
Hilla Sarjon ... Iris
Shlomi Avraham Shlomi Avraham ... Papi
Tarik Kopty ... Iman (as Tarak Kopty)
Rinat Matatov ... Yula
Tomer Yosef Tomer Yosef ... Ars
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ahuva Keren ... Lea
François Khell François Khell ... Makram
Hisham Khoury ... Fauzi
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Storyline

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, led 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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

band | police | israel | arab | egyptian | See All (167) »

Taglines:

They came, they saw, they bridged a divide. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Israel | USA | France

Language:

Hebrew | Arabic | English

Release Date:

21 March 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A zenekar látogatása See more »

Filming Locations:

Negev Desert, Israel See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$67,492, 10 February 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,053,823, 6 July 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was adapted into a musical which premiered Off-Broadway on November 11, 2016 and moved to Broadway on November 9, 2017, starring Tony Shalhoub as Tewfiq, Katrina Lenk as Dina, and -link=nm0137121] as Itzik. The production won Best Musical of 2017 at the Obie Awards, the Lucille Lortel Awards, and the New York Drama Critics' Circle. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Connections

Featured in Sharon Amrani: Remember His Name (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Summertime
(From opera "Porgy and Bess", 1935)
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Band Visits, You'd Want Them to Stay
24 January 2008 | by janos451See all my reviews

In an ocean of predictable movies, "The Band's Visit" is an island of bliss. When you see the advertising about the story of an Egyptian police band getting lost in Israel, you're likely to roll the film instantly in your mind - conflict, hatred, perhaps some awkward humor, and a forced bit or two of vague optimism about the future.

Forget all that, it's some other movie. This one is free and clear of anything set, routine, obvious, predictable. "The Band's Visit" is about people - mostly awkward, all real, well- and ill-behaved in turn - and not about agenda, ideology, politics. It's an unsentimental "people movie" (remember when Hollywood used to churn those out?), enormously likable, a treasurehouse of humanism.

"Visit" is also a film you have to work with. It's not dumped on the audience in its fullness by its writer and (first-time) director, Eran Kolirin. Action is slow or nonexistent, dialogue is halting, silences are rampant. And yet it all works so well: even if you have never heard Egyptian music, when the band finally plays (as the end-credits roll), you're guaranteed to groove on it.

Kolirin is a writer and director of great economy. The characters of and relationships between the eight band members - in their powder blue, Sgt. Pepper-wannabe, uniforms are revealed through a word here, an expression there, and pretty soon, you really know them... except that later you realize you didn't.

The head of the band, Tewfig, is an officious, prissy, downcast, silent figure, and yet as the camera stays on him a great deal of the time, slowly you are getting used to him, and when he finally puts together a couple of full sentences, you may feel acceptance and even appreciation.

It is at this point, far into the movie, that you understand why Dina is pursuing him. Dina is the attractive - if blowsy - owner of a small cafe in the Israeli desert town where the band is stranded. There is much, much more to "Visit," but just watching the Tewfig-Dina story, and reveling in the performances of the two actors, is well worth the price of admission.

The band leader is Sasson Gabal, and I must admit being incredulous finding out after seeing the movie that he is a famous Israeli actor. Not only does he appear authentically Egyptian, but when starts singing an Arabic song - oy! Dina is Ronit Elkabetz, an actor so fine that you'd never suspect her of being one; what you see on the screen is the character, totally believable.

"Visit" is a rare film, one that keeps running in your mind long after the band strikes up.


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