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The Band's Visit

red, white, and blue...

Much of this movie features English subtitles, even when the characters are speaking English, as the dialogue can be hard to understand.

PG-13

Sasson Gabai, Ronit Elkabetz, Saleh Bakri

Tewfiq (about fishing): No, it’s not boring at all.  It’s the sound of water and waves…and distant children playing on the beach…and the sound of the bait falling in the water.  In early hours at the sea you can hear the whole world like…like symphony.
Dina: And the fish…you cook it?
Tewfiq: Well…usually I don’t catch…

A small police orchestra from Egypt is visiting Israel to play at the opening of an Arab cultural center, but they end up in the wrong place.  The locals in this very small, quiet town give them food and a place to sleep overnight.

This is a quiet, subdued movie, but it’s also very effective.  It’s quite funny at times, but also pretty touching at other times.  I like how they had various members of the band in separate areas interacting with different characters.  It kept the movie interesting by not having it all in one setting.

I especially liked Khaled’s (Bakri) storyline, being a fifth wheel on a double-date with some of the locals.  There’s a great scene where he attempts to help Papi – who is very inexperienced with girls – with his date, which is the scene in the picture I put in this review.

All the character interactions are good, though.  I wasn’t expecting to be very interested in Tewfiq and Dina’s date, but their conversations were actually very moving and kept my attention.  Interestingly, I think that’s 3 movies in a row I’ve watched with a main character who is still dealing with the loss of his wife.

This movie might be a bit slow and dull for some people, but if you’ve got the patience for it (and for reading some subtitles), it’s well worth watching.

10 – 1 for a few bits that seem extraneous – .5 for a couple slow patches = 8.5