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Omar: Palestinian thriller has a strong plot and a strong message

Written by
Hany Abu-Assad
Directed by
Hany Abu-Assad
Adam Bakri, Waleed Zuaiter
Palestinian Territories

Israeli-Arab director Hany Abu-Assad earned an Academy Award nomination for his 2005 film Paradise Now, about two Palestinians planning a suicide bombing against Israel, before making a Hollywood thriller (The Courier). His new film, considered the first feature fully financed within the Palestinian cinema industry, is also a thriller, built around an anti-occupation message. Omar, a young baker (Adam Bakri), climbs back and forth over the Israeli security wall that separates him from his girlfriend, Nadia, and his childhood friend, Amjad, until one day he is stopped and roughed-up by Israeli police. Omar decides to join the anti-Israeli resistance and promptly gets arrested for suspicion of killing a soldier. After a brief, nasty torture scene, Omar's real troubles begin when the Israelis trick him into becoming an informant. The strongest element here is the surprise-filled plot, and a standout performance from Palestinian-American actor Waleed Zuaiter, as an affable-seeming Israeli police agent who masterfully plays on Omar's fears.

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About the Author
Film critic

Liam Lacey is a film critic for The Globe and Mail. More


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