Hany Abu-Assad, it was heralding his fine Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated movie Paradise Now from 2005. He's back this year with yet another Oscar nod for his newest film OMAR, which has also been nominated for and won some prestigious awards. If it does not quite come up to the level of his earlier film, it is still very good and very much worth view-ing, as it demonstrates the culpability of both today's Israel in keeping Palestinians enchained, and the youth of Palestine's insistence on overthrowing Israeli rule by any means necessary.
Iyad Hoorani, above) and their mutual friend Amjad (Samer Bisharat, below, left), who has his own romantic interest in Nadia.
Waleed Zuaiter, below), who initially presents a kindlier face of Israel. Who is using who and to what end is a question the movie asks over and over.
Mars at Sunrise (released a couple of weeks back) and more like last year's dark and probing The Attack, this one offers little in the way of hope. In fact, its nomination as Best Foreign Language Film may surprise you, but it is, as usual, unlikely to win. Just as nominees over the past decade, Ajami and Paradise Now, failed to bring home the Oscar, so I predict, will Omar. Right now, it appears to be all that the Academy can do is to honor Palestine with a nomination now and then.
Adopt Films and running just 96 minutes -- opens this Friday, February 21, in Los Angeles at Laemmle's Royal, Playhouse 7, Town Center 5 and Claremont 5, and in New York City at the Angelika Film Center and the Lincoln Plaza Cinema. In the weeks to come the film will open across the country. To view all currently playdates, cities and theaters, click here and then click on View Theaters & Showtimes.