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A drama centered on an orphaned Palestinian girl growing up in the wake of Arab-Israeli war who finds herself drawn into the conflict.

Director:

Julian Schnabel

Writers:

Rula Jebreal (screenplay), Rula Jebreal (novel)
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hiam Abbass ... Hind Husseini
Asma Al Shiukhy Asma Al Shiukhy ... Woman Wrapping Body
Neemeh Khalil Neemeh Khalil ... Woman Wrapping Body
Jameel Khoury ... Brother Amin
Basel Husseini Basel Husseini ... Brother Khalid
Hanna Shammas Hanna Shammas ... Husseini Brother
Ibrahim Husseini Ibrahim Husseini ... Husseini Brother
Hazem Said Hazem Said ... Husseini Brother
Vanessa Redgrave ... Bertha Spafford
Willem Dafoe ... Eddie
Makram Khoury ... Governor Khatib (as Makram J. Khoury)
Wadeeka Khoury Wadeeka Khoury ... Hind's Mother
Virginia Amsis Virginia Amsis ... Young Girl at Christmas Party
Ansam Qupti Ansam Qupti ... Other Girl at Christmas Party
Fadi Shahen Fadi Shahen ... Musician at Christmas Party
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Storyline

A drama centered on an orphaned Palestinian girl growing up in the wake of Arab-Israeli war who finds herself drawn into the conflict.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Is this the face of a terrorist?

Genres:

Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violent content including a sexual assault | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Israel | Italy | India | USA

Language:

English | Arabic | Hebrew

Release Date:

3 September 2010 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Мирал See more »

Filming Locations:

Israel See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$66,244, 27 March 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$371,352, 15 May 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Miral: My name is Miral Hasna. I was Born in 1973. But my story really begins in 1947 with Hind Husseini.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.14 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Masâr
Composé par Le Trio Joubran
Interprété par le Trio Joubran
Percussionniste: Yousef Hbeisch
(P) & © Randana- 2008
Avec l'aimable autorisation de Randana
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A raw and affecting look at the conflicts and struggles between Palestine and Israel
27 June 2011 | by moviexclusiveSee all my reviews

Political films based on actual events are usually angry sentiments and have a strong point to make. This biographical drama is no different. Based on Rula Jebreal's novel, the emotionally charged production gives us an insight on the political unrest and instability happening on the other side of the world. Regard it educational if you will, this Julian Schnabel directed film will leave you wondering what it takes to live a life surrounded by the horrors of war.

The film chronicles Hind Husseini's effort to build an orphanage in Jerusalem after the 1948 Arab Israeli War. This began with her crossing paths with 55 orphaned children while on her way to work one day. She took them home and before she knew it, she had almost 2000 orphans under her care. The Dar Al-Tifel Institute was born, and thousands of orphaned children came under Husseini's care. Some 30 years later, Miral, a motherless child was sent to the orphanage by her father. Upon turning 17, she is sent to a refugee camp where she experiences the tension between Israel and Palestine, and the possible destructions it can bring to her own life.

Director Schnabel is known for his award winning works The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) and Before Night Falls (2000), and it comes as no surprise that the New York born filmmaker's latest project deals with such politically charged themes, despite the foreign lands the story takes place in. Through gritty cinematography (read: shaky camera work) and choppy editing (read: abrupt cuts and transitions), Schnabel shows us a world which we have only read about but never had the chance to experience. Sure, there may be no beautifully decorated sets with perfectly synchronized action sequences, but this is the slices of reality which the locals have to live with day after day.

It is also clear that the film presents a Palestinian perspective of things, and may appear one sided to viewers who are expecting this to be objective. Do note, however, that this is based on a memoir by Jebreal, and it is only natural that the war is seen through her eyes.

Amidst the violence and assaults, there is tenderness and compassion in the 112 minute film as Schnabel tells a story of remarkably strong women surviving in times of turmoil. Their intertwined tales may be unevenly told, but you'd feel a sense of passion and zeal as they go through life fighting for their beliefs and causes.

Playing the central character Husseini is Hiam Abbass (The Visitor, Munich), a Palestinian actress who injects the much needed fervour into her character. Frieda Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) plays the titular character, and viewers get to see how a girl who is initially brought up safely inside the orphanage's walls gradually grows into a young woman who is awakened by the reality around her and has to fight for her convictions. Appearing in supporting roles are familiar faces like Willem Dafoe (Daybreakers) and Vanessa Redgrave (Letters to Juliet) in the first few minutes of the film.

The film ends without any closure or resolution, which reflects the harsh realities happening on the other side of the planet we live in. And that, in our opinion, is the best way to leave us reflecting on the unnecessary pain and tragedies brought about by war.

  • www.moviexclusive.com


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