First I must say that before seeing this film I had not read the book it was based on so I have to assume that the film follows the book. As the writer of the book also participated in the scripting of the film, one would think that this film is a collaboration between the author of the book and the director Julian Schnabel. This being said, I have tried to review this film without prejudice.
When the film ended my first thoughts were that this film would cause a stir as it is directed by a Jew and yet the subject matter of the film shows the Jewish State of Israel in a negative light. My concerns were not as much for the film itself, as it is a well made film, but for the attitude that the Jewish population would have towards the film. In my own experience, as someone who has been directly involved with distribution of film, whenever there is a group that has a negative response the distribution can go one of two ways; the first being limited distribution as some will not support showing the film in their theaters, and the second being a tremendous response to good cinema where theaters will take the risk and book the film at a national level. "Miral" a film that should have widespread distribution, because of what the Jewish population will do in response to the anti Israel theme, this film will be reduced to Art House distribution.
"Miral" deals with a Palestinian community in turmoil due to change. That change was the effect that the new Statehood of Israel caused. As with any new regimes change is mandatory and an often misunderstood process and the story of "Miral" reflects that process.
The film boasts a well woven story, competent acting, and a visceral message. This is a relevant film and well worth seeing. It is multiple-layered and a multiple-leveled film. It would be a shame if the Jewish Community misreads the intention of the film. Films like this do not come around often and avoiding it out of ignorance would be a mistake.
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