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2013 omar
Omar
★★★☆☆
First run Theater cinema

Omar, Palestine’s official entry for the best foreign language Oscar, comes from the acclaimed, rebellious filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad (Rana's Wedding, Paradise Now, The Courier) and tells a tense and suspenseful spy story about trust, faith, betrayal and difficult moral choices. As a thriller it ranks high amongst the recent crop of spy films. The action sequences and visual dynamics are every bit as exciting and well executed in this ultra-low budget picture as in mega-budgeted blockbusters like The Bourne or Mission Impossible films, and I care a lot more about Omar (Adam Bakri) than I do about Jason Borne or Ethan Hunt. As a psychological character study, the film fairs even better. Abu-Assad is less concerned with answering the question of weather Omar is a freedom fighter or a terrorist, or if the Israeli handler who convinces him to become an informant (Waleed F. Zuaiter) is a good man or a part of an evil organization. Instead he has created a simple story with complex undertones, which puts a human face on abstract political concepts. We get a good sense of daily life in the occupied territories and the emotional and intellectual dilemmas young Palestinian men face. Abu-Assad uses the landscape, roads, and back alleys of the towns and villages to great effect, not to mention the wall between Israel and Palestine, which is an obstacle, a metaphor, and practically a character unto itself. 

Directed by Hany Abu-Assad
Produced by Waleed Zuaiter and David Gerson

With: Adam Bakri, Waleed Zuaiter, Iyad Hoorani, Samer Bisharat, and Leem Lubany

Cinematography: Ehab Assal
Editing: Martin Brinkler and Eyas Salman

Runtime: 96 min
Release Date: 16 October 2013
Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1
Color