Film Review: OMAR

Written and Directed by Hany Abu-Assad
Starring: Adam Bakri, Leem Lubany, Eyad Hourani, Samer Bisharat,Waleed F. Zuaiter

Omar (Bakri) is a baker in Palestine, conducting a clandestine but chaste romance with his friend’s (Bisharat) sister (Lubany). When he and his friends (Hourani) engage in some rather foolhardy but provoked violence, it is Omar who is caught and taken to an Israeli prison where he first tortured and then persuaded that it is better for both him (and his girlfriend) if he turns informer. His handler (Zuaiter) is far too skilled for the young man to outwit. Omar is now an outcast to his friends, who mistrust him. There seems to be no way out of this quagmire for Omar. Or is there?

This was nominated for the Best Foreign language Oscar. It was sad, depressing, and brilliant. It was pure story-telling at its finest, successful in making the fate of Omar something we could not look away from, and perfectly encapsulating the dilemma of Palestinian life on the West Bank.

Patti Abbott