Film Review: THE ATTACK

Director: Ziad Doueiri
Written by Joelle Touma and Ziad Doueiri
Starring: Ali Suliman, Reymonde Amsellem, Karim Saleh, Evgenia Dodina

Amin Jaafari, (Suliman) an Arab doctor working in Tel Aviv, is being honored for his work when he receives a phone call from his wife (Amsellem). Because he is on the way to the podium, he is unable to answer it. It will be a long time before its import is made clear.

The next day a suicide bombing rocks his very neighborhood and the victims turn up at Jaafari’s hospital. One of the victims is his wife and before long the police make it clear to him that they suspect her of being the suicide bomber. Jaafari goes through a brutal police interrogation and then a period of denial. It can’t be true. But eventually he accepts its truth and he begins a journey to find out the origin of his wife’s actions.

THE ATTACK is an even-handed look at the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. As much as Jaafari has pushed it aside by living in Tel Aviv and rarely visiting his family, he must retrace his wife’s steps and her evolution as a terrorist. It is painful for him on so many levels because he simply did not see the changes going on.

“Something snapped in her head,” his nephew tells him. As much as Jaafari wants to find someone who turned his wife into such a person, he cannot lay the blame so easily. And Jaafari himself begins to change as he is forced to confront the side of himself he tried to banish.

This is a truly excellent movie. It is a thriller that has a lot to say. And we need to hear it.

Patti Abbott