Israeli director Eran Kolirin‘s feature debut is an understated gem. Humane, subtle and very funny, the story occupies one of my favorite film settings – small towns in or near the desert. Praise should be given particularly to Kolirin (who also wrote the script) for creating a tale that in it’s own way, so deftly tackles the complicated sphere that is the middle east conflict.
“When the Ceremonial Police Band of Alexandria, Egypt, journeys to a gig in Israel, they can hardly anticipate getting stuck in a rut. But upon arrival at the Israeli airport, their hosts and transportation fail to show. Trapped in a middle-of-nowhere desert town, the group members try to figure out what to do and where to go. In desperation, two of the musicians — conductor Tawfiq (Sasson Gabai) and playboy Haled (Saleh Bakri) — accept an invitation from sexy café owner Dina (Ronit Elkabetz) to bunk at her residence, and seemingly within no time, the unlikeliest of interracial (Israeli-Palestinian) romances begin to blossom. Meanwhile, the remainder of the bandmembers room with local resident Itzik’s (Rubi Moscovich) family, which produces overwhelming conflict and innumerable tensions. As the days roll on, the co-mingling of Egyptian bandmembers and Israeli residents imparts each individual with insights into his cultural identity and that of the others”. – Nathan Southern