The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has lasted 100 years. 100 years of war, bloodshed, bitterness, suffering. 100 years of stalemate, intransigence and failed peace deals. And now, it's all ...
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The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has lasted 100 years. 100 years of war, bloodshed, bitterness, suffering. 100 years of stalemate, intransigence and failed peace deals. And now, it's all over! They've finally found the solution: A game of soccer. The winner gets to stay. The loser leaves forever. And no whining.
Was selected as part of the Locarno Film Festival's "First Look" series in 2015, a section of the festival accessible to industry badge holders only, where films in post-production are screened to potential buyers and festival programmers. See more »
A mockumentary with serious political undertones
"The 90 Minute War" (2016 release from Israel; 95 min.) brings a renewed look at the never-ending conflict between Israelis and Palestinians (simply known as "The Conflict" in that part of the world). As the movie opens, a manager of the Leiria soccer stadium in Portugal gets the word that soon, a winner-take-all match between Israel and Palestine will take place there, to settle the Conflict once and for all: winner gets to say, loser needs to look for a new homeland. We get to know the heads of the Israeli and Palestine Football Associations, as they commence difficult negotiations (who will referee the game? etc.). At this point we are 10 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: I have seen plenty of films looking at the Conflict, both with documentaries and fiction movies. But I had never seen this, in essence a mix of both documentary and fiction, to look at a topic as complicated as the Conflict. Israeli writer-director does a fantastic job exposing the ugly underbelly and at times utter absurdity of the Conflict by being politically incorrect and making a bigger point along the way. The long scene in which the parties negotiate which referee is mutually acceptable is a classic example of that. Another such example is the hilarious scene in which the Portuguese stadium manager and his wife discuss the (to them incomprehensible) concept of an Arab Israeli (as opposed to what? a Jewish Palestinian?). One might think that since this is written and director ab an Israeli, Israel gets 'softer' treatment, but in fact that is not the case at all. And then there is the issue of the outcome of the soccer match itself (I shan't spoil of course).
I recently saw "The 90 Minute War" at the 2018 Jewish & Israeli Film Festival here in Cincinnati. The large theater at which this was screened was a near sell-out. Prior to the screening, Israeli film expert Galit Roichman provded some interesting insights relative to the use of humor in looking at a sensitive topic like the Conflict. If you get the change to catch "The 90 Minute War", be it in the theater or on VOD, I'd readily recommend you do.
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