Distributed by Arab Film Distribution, 10035 35th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98125; 206-322-0882
Produced by Natasha Atalla, Carly Pandza
Directed by Erika Cohn
DVD, color, 21 min.
College - General Adult
Nationalism, Palestine-Israel-Lebanon Relations, 2006 Israeli war, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Middle East, Womenís Rights, Human Rights, Activism, Social Movement
Reviewed by Malcolm L. Rigsby, Department of Sociology and Human Services, Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Date Entered: 6/4/2012
What better way to evaluate nationalism than by examining its identity constructing effects upon the lives of everyday people. American residents Nadia, a dance instructor, and Amir, a reserve pilot, meet on the eve of the 2006 Israeli-Lebanese war. Attracted to each other they find that nationalism creates tension within their relationship. Faced with being called up for service, Amir must take an active role in the Israeli Defense Forces; he is Israeli and Nadia is Lebanese-American.
A side issue develops. Nadiaís sister is living in what is considered the safe haven of Lebanon: Beirut. Nadia and her family worry for her. As Amirís identity becomes known to Nadia he must make a decision, bomb people from Nadiaís homeland or do the patriotic thing for a citizen of Israel. Amir declines to fly back to Israel, but receives calls from home declaring he is a shame to his nation and people. What must he do, what can he do? His dilemma is whether to stay in America and foster his relationship with Nadia and be a human being with a mind capable of rational thought, or comply with national calling and recognize that he is a mindless mechanism of politics and non-logical thought.
This short offers a very good look at how human relationships are often affected by nationalism and patriotism and how individuals often may lose sight of the basic humanity necessary for co-existence of diverse cultures. The photography is very good although apparently limited in resources. The director uses a variety of visual shots. Sound is excellent and is accompanied by music to set the mood of romance, tragedy, and relaxation moods. For a short, the plot is very well laid out for the viewer. The story line is clear. More importantly to me the ending remains a complete unknown until the last scene. Cohn incorporates realness into the film using English, but also Arabic and Hebrew. Subtitles are used as needed and add to the excellent quality of this short film. View the online film trailer on YouTube.