THE BAND'S VISIT
Fish out of Water in the Desert
Release Date: December 07, 2007
Starring: Sasson Gabai, Ronit Elkabetz,
Saleh Bakri, Khalifa Natour,
Shlomi Avraham, and Rubi
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 89 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Director: Eran Kolirin
Executive Producer: None
Producer: Ehud Bleiberg, Koby Gal-Raday,
Guy Jacoel, Eylon Ratzkovsky,
and Yossi Uzrad
Writer: Eran Kolirin
Address Comments To:Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcia Bloom
Sony Pictures Classics
(Sony Pictures Entertainment)
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833
Fax: (212) 833-8844
Web Page: www.sonyclassics.com
Dina, the pretty, voluptuous owner of a small roadside lunch place, takes pity on the band and is attracted to Tewfiq despite some difference in their ages (she is in her thirties while he is in his forties). Dina takes Tewfiq and Khaled into her home for the night and parcels out the other band members to a couple other places.
The evening leads to some awkward moments and family tensions for the Israelis and their Egyptian guests, but also some moments of compassionate human understanding. Dina strikes up a friendship with Tewfiq, and Khaled helps a young Israeli clumsy with girls woo a girl at a skating rink.
THE BAND’S VISIT has some priceless, exquisitely subtle moments of dry comedy and warm pathos. Viewers learn that the stoic band commander, a widower, is carrying around a family tragedy that brings him inner turmoil. The caution to THE BAND’S VISIT is that Dina clearly wants Tewfiq to passionately romance her. Without giving anything away, someone does indeed go to bed with her, though the movie only shows them passionately kissing in a dark hallway. The movie also contains some foul language, including one “f” word.
Few people, however, especially children or teenagers, are likely to see this movie, despite its acclaim. Even so, THE BAND’S VISIT is good enough to gain some notoriety during the upcoming awards season, which may bring a surprising amount of income at the international box office and on DVD. Reducing the chances for that is the fact that the movie contains no positive religious references. Thus, the movie’s worldview is relatively humanist, though not aggressively atheist. In this setting, it is not surprising that it is secular music, including, ironically enough, popular American jazz, that helps dissolve the cultural and linguistic differences between the movie’s characters.
THE BAND’S VISIT has some priceless, exquisitely subtle moments of dry comedy and touching pathos. The caution is that Dina wants Tewfiq to passionately romance her. Without giving anything away, someone does indeed go to bed with her, though the movie only shows them kissing passionately in shadows. The movie also contains some strong obscenities. It is intriguing to note that it is secular music, including popular American jazz songs, that helps dissolve the cultural differences between the characters.