Thursday, May 15, 2008



Richard Jenkins: Sixty-two-year-old economics Professor Walter Vale
Danai Gurira: Zainab, a costume jewellery designer
Haaz Sleiman: her boyfriend Tarek, a musician
Hiam Abbass: his mother Mouna

Terrific acting is but one of the things that sets this movie apart. The low-key, unhurried pace is another but the main thing is the story about random encounters and the impact they can have on our lives.

Taking a simpler approach to story telling, there are no flashbacks, no parallel developments, in fact none of the more sophisticated filming techniques seen so often. By contrast the director takes an unusual approach like showing a discussion being held behind closed doors without our hearing what is being said or having people speaking in a language other than English without subtitles being shown on the screen. He relies on the fact we are smart enough to figure it out by ourselves. How refreshing.

Oh by the way: did I mention the superb acting?

for brief strong language.

The Republic of Senegal is a country on the Atlantic coast of western Africa. Senegal has a population of over 11 million, about 70 percent of whom live in rural areas. Dakar is the capital city. French, which was inherited from the colonial era, is the official language although there are 35 other languages spoken throughout the country.

The Syrian Arab Republic is a country in Southwest Asian sandwiched between Turkey and Iraq, bordering Lebanon to the South. The capital city is Damascus. Arabs make up over 90% of the population. Formerly a French mandate, Syria attained independence in 1946, but can trace its roots to the fourth millennium BC. It is one of the fifteen states that comprise the so-called “Cradle of Civilisation". The Euphrates, Syria's most important river, crosses the country in the east. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War and has maintained a controversial military presence there ever since.

You won’t be bothered by kids when viewing this film in a movie theatre. Children will not have the slightest bit of interest in it.

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