The Attack (2013)
Critic Consensus: Tense and suspenseful while remaining smart and understated, The Attack honors its complex subject with an intelligent script and captivating performances.
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Critic Reviews for The Attack
Screenwriters Ziad Doueiri and Joelle Touma pull quite a few punches here, making the doctor improbably naive about Israeli-Palestinian tensions so that his transformation seems profound.
"The Attack" doesn't force us to pick a side. But it does force us to question our outsiders' hope in conciliation.
Arouses profound questions about fanaticism, cultural identity, and the essential mystery of other people, even those we think we know best.
It's set up as a descent into the heart of darkness, but it ends up playing out in pallid shades of grey.
Imagine a blissful life taken away: Story of an Arab man who's assimilated into Israeli society but finds out that his wife was a suicide bomber. Nothing new here about the conflict, fair portrayal of the sides, thought provoking without solutions.
Audience Reviews for The Attack
A tragic and sad film that explores the complexity of a never-ending conflict through the impossibility of confronting someone for answers when that person is dead - and even those unnecessary details offered in the last fifteen minutes are not able to dilute its intensity and urgency.
Just sad. Amin Jaafari, a Palestinian surgeon, seems to have "made it" by being accepted--personally and professionally--by the elite of Israeli society. But not really. The Israeli attitude is paternalistic "we allowed you to become this" but the attitude of his Palestinian relatives--whom he abandoned in his quest for acceptance--is that he is a traitor to his people. And maybe he is. And maybe, as his nephew says, his wife was worth more to the resistance alive (she has money and a veneer of respectability) but she did put her boot on the line. (Quick aside, that is the one flaw of this movie--that she would do this is totally unbelievable, but it does set up some interesting questions.) That's all we're left with at the end of this very subtle and moving movie: questions. If anyone is feeling good about where we are as a species, this will knock some sense into you.
Just before Dr. Amin Jaafari(Ali Suliman) is set to receive a prestigious lifetime award in Tel Aviv, he gets a brief a phone call from his wife Siham(Reymond Amsalem) who is away visiting relatives. As he points out in the acceptance speech, he is the first Arab to receive such an award. The following day, like many of his colleagues, he tends to the wounds of those injured in a suicide bomb, including one dissatisfied customer. Later, he gets a call in the middle of the night which is never a good sign and in this case involves going to the hospital to identify his wife's remains who is now thought to be the suicide bomber of the previous day, as Moshe(Uri Gavriel) starts in with the intense questioning.
"The Attack" is a powerful, heartbreaking and provocative neo-noir that succeeds on both a psychological and a political level. First and foremost, it is a portrait of a man going through the five stages of grief while wondering how much he really knew the love of his life. As such, the nature of identity is explored on both sides of the wall that now separates Israel and the Occupied Territories and which is never as simple as many people there would like to believe. All of which is seen through the eyes of somebody with a unique perspective on the ongoing tragedy and who in the end owes nobody anything.
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