- Directed by
- Eran Riklis
- Tawfeek Barhom
If truth is the first casualty of war, nuance runs a close second, which is why it was all the more distressing when the Jerusalem Film Festival cancelled its world premiere of the satisfying, novelistic new drama from award-winning director Eran Riklis (The Syrian Bride) as Hamas and Israel attacked each other last summer.
Like Eyad, the shy Arab teenager integrating in stutter-steps into mainstream Israeli society in the early 1990s, Riklis, working from an adaptation of a popular novel by the Arab-Israeli writer Sayed Kashua, is wryly perceptive of the ways each side exoticizes and demonizes the other.
Even as Eyad (Tawfeek Barhom) falls in love with a fellow student (Daniel Kitzis), supplies his classmates with awesome hummus, and becomes like a brother to Yonatan (Michael Moshonov), a Jewish teen suffering from muscular dystrophy, the reality of his identity seems inescapable.
"Sometimes I forget you're an Arab," Yonatan says. "Me too," replies Eyad. "Don't worry," his friend quips. "Someone will always remind you."