Simon, a Toronto high school student, has been raised by his maternal Uncle Tom since Simon's parents, Rachel and Sami, died in a car accident eight years ago. Tom, a tow truck driver, decided to move to the city into Rachel's house and assume the mortgage, something he could ill afford, largely not to disrupt Simon's life, but equally to get away from his and Rachel's father, Morris, an openly bigoted man. That upbringing has made Tom a sullen and angry man. Morris only recently passed away. Rachel and Sami met when she, a violinist, brought her instrument in to be serviced, Sami the repairman. Simon now owns his mother's expensive violin, which Tom would like to sell to help pay the mortgage and Simon's imminent university tuition. One day at school, Simon's French teacher Sabine reads a French newspaper story from several years ago as a translation exercise for the class, the story about a pregnant woman traveling to Israel, her then boyfriend who, unknown to her, planted a bomb in...Written by
Atom Egoyan first read a news article about a Jordanian man who sent his pregnant Irish girlfriend on an El Al flight with a bomb in her luggage, without her knowledge, in 1986. He encountered the story again in 2006 which made him decide that there was ripe material here for a film about the extremism of terrorism and parental legacies. See more »
When Sabine arrives at the door, it is gently snowing and her black coat has some snow on it. Once she enters the house (a different set, her coat no longer has snow on it and the rate of snow, as seen through the window behind her, is at a much faster rate. See more »
I think that this idea we get, that if you get to know someone, if you humanize them, it stops you from pulling the trigger or setting off the bomb or whatever, well that's just a myth we're taught, something we get from the movies. When the reality might be that's what actually inspires extreme action.
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Interesting, I wouldn't say all together successful movie about Religion, persecution, customs, you know, Atom Egoyan's favorite subjects it seems. As a matter of fact, for the first half hour or so, I thought we were being treated to a different take on "Ararat", Egoyan's (quite great) film from a few years back dealing with yes, Religion, persecution and customs. But then the film takes a bit of a left tum, gets a little talky and preachy, and ends on an interesting note. In the film, a teacher encourages a student to make up a story about his Dad being a terrorist and how he got his Mom to bring a bomb on a plane for him. only to be stopped by customs. The story takes a life of it's own, affecting everyone around him, why would the teacher do this? It's somewhat tricky and confusing, and Egoyan does an amicable job to keep a totally convoluted story afloat, because this baby goes off in all directions. Again, it gets to be a bit much, but under Egoyan's touch, is certainly watchable.
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