Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cinéma Verité: “Strangers”

I accepted a last minute invitation to the Israeli Film Festival yesterday evening. I have always held a curiosity for cultures unlike my own. Even more so, when my passport dictates that I am not allowed to visit. South Africa was crossed out when apartheid ended, and Cuba too, is now a possible destination. But Israel remains out of reach. (Of course there are ways, dear reader, but we will not discuss them).

I normally dismiss love stories as loathe-worthy, saccharine-filled, gag-inducing flicks of boy meets girl and they live happily ever after. However, I am ever humbled by "Strangers," a movie of love, sacrifice, second chances and the power of choice, directed by Erez Tadmor and Guy Nattiv.

Rana and Eyal, both in Berlin for the World Cup, meet on the metro and grab each other’s bag by mistake, sparking a chain of events that lead them both on a life-defining journey. Lubna Azabal (of 2006 Golden Globe winning, “Paradise Now” fame) is paired with TV heartthrob, Liron Levo. The connection between the two was what made the film so incredibly powerful. I was floored to learn that the movie was sans script. Despite the back and forth in English, Hebrew and French, both actors were able to deliver an authenticity of character and dialogue lacking in other films that utilize multiple languages. The scenes shot at the World Cup were especially intimate, capturing the excitement of the moment.

“Strangers” represented to me, a symbol of hope. That differences can be put aside. We are defined not by our past. Who we are being in the present and the choices we make, are what determines our future.

I was touched! Inspired! As the lights came on in the theatre, my movie buddy gave a slight yawn, turned to me and said, "What did I miss? I fell asleep after the disco scene."


Jackie said...

Although I really wanted to catch this flick I was unable to due to a previous engagement. Your amazing review will definitely be the reason I actively seek out this movie. Gr8 work M!!!!


ejeancarroll said...

Miss M! You are the Edith Wharton of you generation!

MA Shumin (馬淑敏) said...

amazing review indeed!

and agree with the person who left the comment, 'You are the Edith Wharton of you generation!'