sat 19/10/2019

Palestine

Gaza review - portraits of love and futility

First-time collaborators Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell have tried to divert from the standard media narrative by looking at Gaza from the viewpoint of its inhabitants. The result is an observant documentary that attempts to avoid politics by...

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Foxtrot review – controversial movie dances to an ugly tune

Israeli filmmaker Samuel Maoz’s Foxtrot uses irony and visual poetry to condemn his nation’s militarism. Twenty months after the movie won the Grand Jury Prize at Venice, it opens in the UK trailing a divisive history. When it first emerged in 2017...

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Prom 43, Batiashvili, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Barenboim review – from Russia with love

The days are long gone when a Proms gig by Daniel Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra felt like a life-changing visitation by a major prophet. Expectations of the ensemble he and the scholar-writer Edward Said founded in 1999 to encourage...

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The Negotiator review - Jon Hamm shines in Beirut-based thriller

So far Jon Hamm has had trouble finding himself movie roles which fit him quite as impeccably as Mad Men’s Don Draper – though he could do worse than throw his hat in the ring for James Bond – but his role here as an American diplomat in Beirut...

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Entebbe review – Seventies hijack drama remains grounded

The freeing of a plane-load of hostages by Israeli forces at Entebbe airport in Uganda in 1976 produced an instant spate of movie versions. Raid on Entebbe starred Peter Finch and Charles Bronson, Victory at Entebbe offered gainful employment to...

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Returning to Haifa, Finborough Theatre review - a bumpy journey into the Arab-Israeli past

This year the state of Israel marks its 70th birthday. Which means it will also be the year Palestinians remember the Nakba, the catastrophe, the mass dispossession. With that in mind, the Public Theater in New York commissioned this adaptation of a...

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Oslo, National Theatre review - informative, gripping and moving

Documentary theatre has a poor reputation. It’s boring in form, boring to look at (all those middle-aged men in suits), and usually only tells you what you already know. It’s journalism without the immediacy of the news. But there are other ways of...

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Destination Unknown review - Holocaust survivors go back

Destination Unknown is a passion project 13 years in production, a documentary featuring moving interviews with a dozen Jewish survivors of Nazi persecution. Elderly men and women describe what happened to them and their families during the war. We...

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Speed Sisters

It’s a fair bet that when Lewis Hamilton and his Formula One colleagues are driving to practice sessions they don’t have to queue for 90 minutes at a military checkpoint. This was just one illuminating vignette of the daily grind shown in Amber...

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Crossing Jerusalem, Park Theatre

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has not been very prominent in the news recently, but that doesn’t mean that it has gone away. As Julia Pascal’s 2003 play reminds us, religious and cultural tensions can go deep. Very deep. At the centre of her...

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DVD: Night Will Fall

The quotation from which this film’s title is taken runs thus: “Unless the world learns the lessons these pictures teach, night will fall.” It’s drawn from the voiceover of a documentary called German Concentration Camps: Factual Survey that was...

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DVD: When I Saw You

Like its title, this film is surprisingly open in its capacity for possibility. It's ironic that this blossoming branch – When I Saw You – is set in the stilted habitat of a refugee camp in Jordan. It’s a sweet film that gets to the heart of the...

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