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From Julian Schnabel, Academy Award (C) nominated director of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Before Night Falls and Basquiat, comes Miral, the story of four women whose lives intertwine in the starkly human search for justice, hope and reconciliation amid a world overshadowed by conflict, rage and war. The story begins in war-torn Jerusalem in 1948 when Hind Husseini (HIAM ABBASS, The Visitor, Amreeka) opens an orphanage for refugee children that quickly becomes home to 2000 orphans. One of the children is seventeen year old Miral (FRIEDA PINTO, Slumdog Millionaire) who arrived at the orphanage 10 years earlier, following her mother's tragic death. On the cusp of the Intifada resistance, Miral is assigned to teach at a refugee camp where she falls for a fervent political activist, Hani (OMAR METWALLY, Munich, Rendition) and finds herself in a personal battle that mirrors the greater dilemma around her: to fight like those before her or follow Mama Hind's defiant belief that education will pave a road to peace. --(c) Weinstein … More
|Rating:||PG-13 (for thematic material, and some violent content including a sexual assault)|
|Genre:||Art House & International, Drama|
|Directed By:||Julian Schnabel|
|Written By:||Rula Jebreal|
|In Theaters:||Mar 25, 2011 Limited|
|On DVD:||Jul 12, 2011|
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as Hind Husseini
as Bertha Spafford
as Governor Khatib
as Samir as a Child
as Miral as a Child
as Miral as a Child
as Sheik Saabah
as Hind's Mother
as Young Stock Trader
as Samar Hilal
as School Secretary
as Torture Woman
as Interrogating Office...
as Nadia's Mother
as Leila as a Child
as Hadil as a Child
as Rania as a Child
as Hadil's Uncle
as Aziza as a Child
as Tamam as a Child
as Tamam as a Teenager
as Tamam as an Adult
as Adoption Officer
as Hospital Administrat...
as Deir Yassin's Son
as Deir Yassin's Daught...
as Child of Deir Yassin
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Critic Reviews for Miral
The director injects some showy images into the mix but, without a defined frame for Schnabel to paint in, "Miral" is an unholy mess.
What "Miral" lacks in performance art, Schnabel attempts to replace with design.
Miral has the pedigree, the attitude, the weighty subject matter. It's just not much of a movie.
"Miral's" agenda doesn't play to Schnabel's strengths. His best work on film is bold-stroke portraiture, evoking complicated personalities and emotions with dynamic, dreamlike imagery.
Audience Reviews for Miral
This movie is a portrayal of what occurred to the Palestinians. I enjoyed the movie and it brought tears to my eyes.. The actors performed a moving performance that pulled on my heart strings. A film made to show what the Palestinians have had to face and still face on a daily basis. Some people may say that this movie is Pro-Palestinian that is for you to decided. Excellent film that didn't get much play in the US. 5 Stars 8-16-12
"Miral," the new film from writer-director Julian Schnabel, is more a work of politics than a work of art, and it's not that interesting even as a work of politics. It presents a very basic pro-Palestinian point of view that skirts all the really tough issues that make the Israeli/Palestinian struggle so intractable. I'm not sure what value there is in over-simplifying Middle Eastern politics and making what is essentially a TV movie based on these matters.
"Miral" is put together reasonably well. Schnabel (whose previous films were "Before Night Falls" and "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly") appears to have decided early on to create a very simple movie, and he maintains careful focus on delivering that objective. Freida Pinto ("Slumdog Millionaire") does an adequate job playing the eponymous lead character, who grows up mostly in an orphanage and gets involved in the "intifada" movement in the late 1980s. This of course puts her on a collision course with the Israeli Police.
An example of the film's laughable over-simplifications concerns the 1967 Six-Day War. The war, first of all, is never explained, but the aftermath is discussed. The Israeli "occupation" of the West Bank that followed the war is presented as simple aggression on the part of Israel. There is no mention of the endless violence waged on Israel from that territory in the years leading up to the war or the use of that area as a staging ground for an invasion of Israel. I'm no pro-Israel zealot, but let's at least be fair when critiquing their military actions. Characterizing Israel as a pure aggressor is ridiculous. It's as ridiculous as believing the Palestinians are all terrorists.
As a work of art, "Miral" is a huge disappointment. As a work of politics, it is also a letdown. But it does work as a simple drama, and there are moments of genuine emotion. Surprisingly, the most interesting passages concern the personal ordeals suffered by Miral's mother, who killed herself when Miral was a young girl. I suspect that Schnabel the artist was drawn more to the mother's story. But Schnabel the (mediocre) politician unfortunately took the dominant role for this project.
With all the film's ordinariness, there still is something inspiring about a Jewish filmmaker trying to look at things from a pro-Palestinian perspective. Imagine a movie made in the 1980s by a white filmmaker in South Africa championing the black movement there. Even if the film were mediocre, one would be moved. In that sense there is something special about "Miral."
"Miral" starts with Bertha(Vanessa Redgrave) introducing Hind Husseini(Hiam Abbass) to Edward Smith(Willem Dafoe) at the American Colony Hotel in Palestine in 1947. That introduction comes in handy decades later with Edward, now a colonel in the United States Army, being able to navigate Israeli roadblocks for Hind who now runs an orphanage. Meanwhile, Nadia(Yasmine Al Massri) looks elsewhere for shelter to escape the abuse she suffers at home and ends up in a seedy strip club before getting six months for headbutting a woman on a bus. In jail, she shares a cell with Fatima(Ruba Blal), a terrorist, who intrudoces her to her brother(Alexander Siddig) who Nadia marries on her release. And that's how Miral(Freida Pinto) enters the story...
As a director, Julian Schnabel has a way of utilizing his skills as an artist to give his films a unique beauty. At the same time, he has a way of getting tripped up by politics and that could not be any truer than with "Miral." Either, he ignores them altogether when he intercuts a bombing with Polanski's "Repulsion" which is getting a little cutesy for my tastes. Or else Schnabel is as subtle as having a boulder dropped on your head. And I say that, even though I am on his side when it comes to the subject of Palestinian independence. Nor does it help in going over the familiar terrain of 40 years of history that he cannot decide who the movie should be about, Hind or Miral, as neither have much in common with each other, outside of their nationality. One place where Schnabel succeeds is in his insight that there is a difference in the attitudes of generations of Palestinians. Whereas the earlier generation may have been more accommodating, the younger generation is more willing to fight, resulting in the First Infitada.
|Child of Deir Yassin:||They killed my mother and father, nobody is left.|
|Miral:||Don't mention my father.|
|Hind Husseini:||This school is the difference between you and the children in the refugee camp.|
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