The Band's Visit

2009-02-06 13:46
 
The Band's Visit

What it's about:
When the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra flies from Egypt to Israel to perform at the opening of an Arab culture centre, they are left stranded at the airport. Their leader Tewfiq (Sasson Gabai) orders the handsome violinist Khaled (Saleh Bakri) to solve their predicament, but it turns out that he's gotten the wrong information. All eight members are left standing alone in a quiet desert town far from their intended destination with no way to get where they need to go.

What the critics thought:
"There's just one thing wrong with The Band's Visit: it's fiction, not a documentary. You want a story as warm as this to be real, because good news is scarce from the Middle East."
- Peter Howell - Toronto Star

"Something marvelous happens as the filmmaker, in his first feature, expertly metes out small scenes of communication between people taught, for generations, to be wary of one another: This Band swings with the rhythms of hope."
- Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly

"With luck, filmgoers who discover this gem about an Egyptian police band stranded in a small Israeli town will make it the must-see movie of the season."
- Ann Hornaday - Washington Post

"Israeli filmmaker Eran Kolirin has made a sly and bewitching chamber comedy that underscores the decency of its characters while sidestepping the gooey, let's-join-hands imperative of its premise."
- Jan Stuart - Newsday

"A warm and delightful take on cross-cultural relations that proves that sometimes a light touch is just what's needed to address serious topics."
- Jay Weissberg - Variety

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A band of Egyptian police force members head to Israel to play at an inaugural ceremony, only to find themselves lost in the wrong town. No, you're not seeing things. This movie really does get a five-star review from the critics.

Glenda 2009/01/23 7:45 AM
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As an Israeli, I perhaps laughed more than fellow viewers would have understood, as the bewildered Egyptians encountered their former enemies for what they are: a tough yet vulnerable people. Some of the dialogue (not always translated well into English)was a bit weak, which lowers my rating by a star, but after "Wings of a Dove",it's a side to the conflict in the region that few outsiders know about. For that reason alone, see this movie.
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