Film Review

The Band’s Visit

This is a serene movie about a traveling Egyptian police band, which plays music that its director feels is becoming obsolete. Well acted, and well directed, but somewhat empty and unresolved.

The Band’s Visit is Eran Kolirin’s debut feature film, and was also Israel’s submission to the Academy Awards® for Best Foreign Language Film. However, the Academy did not feel that this was, I guess, “foreign enough”, as both the Egyptians and the Israelis speak a good amount of English, which is their only way to communicate with each other. This is unfortunate, because it was a good film and to be hindered by a language spoken, rather than the people involved is disappointing.

The story’s main character, Tewfiq Zacharya, is aware that his police band isn’t as popular as it once had been, but his love for music is unwavering, and leads the troupe to a small Israeli town where they are scheduled to play at an Arab cultural center opening. The center is in Petah Tiqva, but because of a disconnect between the languages, their driver thinks they say Beit Hatikva, which lends them an even more enlightening cultural experience.

A very uneventful film, with many realistic traits that aren’t normally seen in film these days. This character study is worth a visit.



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