One of the most dangerous and scary ongoing conflicts going on in the world today is the one between Israel and it’s Arab neighbors. Sadly, every now and then there is a news story about a suicide bombing or an air strike happening in that region. When you have someone allegedly saying “Israel should be wiped off the map” it is understandable why tensions are always so high. This is what made Yasmina Khadra’s novel, “The Attack” so powerful and it has now been made into a film by Ziad Doueiri.
Amin Jaafari is a successful Arab surgeon living in Tel Aviv with his wife. A suicide bombing takes place at a restaurant where a child’s birthday party is taking place. Amin saves as many lives as he can, but is not prepared to discover that his wife was one of the victims. Later, to his disbelief and horror, he learns that his wife was the actual bomber. Once he accepts the truth, he sets out to find the ones who “brainwashed” her.
“The Attack” is the rare drama that gets categorized as “The Sad Movie” because it is one of those movies that has absolutely no happiness in it at all. Once you hear the idea of the movie, how can it have a happy ending? That is not to say it is not a good movie, it’s just a heavy topic. Ziad Doueiri does a good job of not only creating a strong screenplay from the novel, but he directs a pretty intriguing film as we follow Amin, played by Ali Suliman, discovering the side of his wife he never knew existed.
The chief complaint many of about a foreign language film, as “The Attack” is one, is having to read the subtitles. That’s not a big issue for others, unless the ones distributing the film in America hires a cheap company to do the subtitles as is the case here. The subtitles are white with no black border so if there is any white or even light background the subtitles get lost in them. This happens quite often in this movie and even during important pieces of dialogue. A very frustrating way to watch a movie.
There was an advance screening for “The Attack” that took place at the Movies of Delray where a discussion about the movie took place after it ended. Granted, it must be tough for an Arab to live in Tel Aviv and we see things from both points of view of what is happening in that region. This is one of those topics that can be debated endlessly and if a movie can help spark debate that can be a good thing. The movie is rated R for some violent images, language and brief sexuality and nudity.