Director: Hany Abu-Assad.
Starring: Adam Bakri (Omar), Leem Lubany (Nadia), Waleed Zuaiter (Agent Rami), Samer Bisharat (Amjad), Eyad Hourani (Tarek), Mousa Habiib Allah (Sewing Shop Manager), Doraid Liddawi (Soldier), Adi Krayem (Soldier #1), Foad Abed-Eihadi (Soldier #2), Essam Abu Aabed (Omar's Boss), Anna Maria Hawa (Omar's Sister), Ziad Jarjoura (Omar's Brother), Wafaa Aon (Omar's Mother), Jehad Abu Assal (Omar's Father), May Jabareen (Suit Store Employee), Hadi Abu Sineh (Little Boy at Restaurant), Butros Shaheen (Agent), Elias Abu Hattom (Agent), Marco Matar (Agent), Raed Rashad Jaa'issa (Man in House in Chase), Em Ahmad Assad (Woman in House in Chase), Yousef 'Joe' Sweid (Torturer), Ihab Jadallah (Prisoner in Yard), Baher Agbariya (Prison Guard #1), David Gerson (Prison Guard #2), Yael Lerer (Omar's Lawyer), Donna Hawa (Nadia's Friend), Rasha Nahas (Nadia's Friend), Pauline Bahoth (Nadia's Friend), Marwa Dawood (Nadia's Friend), Najwa Atamnah (Amjad Sister #1), Rawan Faranesh (Amjad Sister #2), Lama Naamneh (Amjad Sister #3), Nisai Mhannah (Amjad Sister #4), Dunia Makhlouf (Amjad Sister #5), Eliana Faranesh (Amjad Sister #6), Omaima Sarhan (Amjad Sister #7), Majd Bitar (Tarek's Friend), Jeries Gghrayeb (Policeman), Maroon Boulus (Policeman), Ibrahim Boulus (Policeman), Adel Abu-Lasheen (Policeman), Jamal Khalaile (Tarek Guard #1), Rohl Ayadi (Hussam), Adham Salim (Prisoner #1), Ali Magdube (Prisoner #2), Eli Rezik (Prison Guard #3), Avishay Solomon (Prison Guard #4), Laura Hawa (Nurse), Shetrit Eran (Tracking Device Technician), Mohamad Soboh (Tarek Guard #2), Mousa Awad (Tarek Guard #3), Nael Kanj (Rami's Agent #1), Eyas Natour (Rami's Agent #2), Eltamar Halpirin (Rami's Agent #3), Ela'd Sabaq (Rami's Agent #4), Tarik Kopty (Tarek's Father).
young Palestinian males versus Israeli intelligence unit
A Palestinian man named Omar climbs up a rope to get over the security wall. As soon as he gets to the top of the wall and alarm goes off and a bullet narrowly misses the young man. He slides back down the rope hurting his hand in the process. The fellow knocks on a door and a young Palestinian woman comes to the door. Omar asks for Tarek. Tarek asks Omar how did he get here? Omar says: "Over Qalandia wall." Tarek asks him why didn't he take El Ram wall? Tarek says it was too crowded. There's another young man in the living room.
The three young guys take target practice. Tarek says: "We're ready, guys. I'll inform the brigades." Then they practice taking down a man with a pistol.
The youngest guy plays music on an instrument and then tells Omar that he has seven sisters, not one of them married. The problem is that none of them are pretty. The youngest guy says he's crazy about Tarek's sister Nadia.
Omar goes to work. Later, he goes over the wall. He goes to see Nadia who works sewing things. She sneaks out of the factory and talks to Omar. She tells Omar to see her after school tomorrow. The boss calls for Nadia. She has to go.
Omar climbs back over the wall and the Israelis in a jeep fire a shot at him. Omar lets himself down to the other side of the wall. The Israeli jeep comes on the other side of the wall and stops a ways back from Omar. Over a loud speaker, someone says: "Stop, stop where you are!" Omar stops. "Hands on your head! Don't move!" Three Israelis get out of the jeep. "Lift your shirt and turn around slowly." Omar obeys and now the Israelis want him to walk over to them by their jeep. They ask him for his I.D. and where's he's been. Omar says he went to see his girlfriend. The Israelis make a djoke of it. Now Omar is told to go over to a stone and stand on it. They keep him waiting there as they talk together. Omar gets mad and walks fast over toward the jeep. One of the guards hits Omar on the nose with the butt of his weapon. Now they tell Omar to go back and stand on the stone, but this time on one leg.
Omar goes back to the restaurant where he works. He gets paid by his boss.
He meets with his two friends. Tarek asks Omar why does it have to be tonight? Omar answers: "Everyday we wait is another day of occupation."
At night, Omar steals a car and picks up his two buddies. They drive to a place where they can see Israeli guards. They are going to kill a guard. Tarek wants the youngest fellow to do the shooting. Omar stole the car, Tarek planned the shooting and now the young one has to kill a guard. The fellow takes aim and fires, hitting the target. The three fellows now take off running while the Israeli guards shoot into the darkness.
Omar drives the two others to their homes. The he pulls the car over to the side of a road, douses the car with gasoline, and then sets the car on fire.
The next day Omar is at his job. After work, he climbs over the wall. Then he goes to see Nadia. He tells her that this time he is going to talk to Tarek about courting his sister. She gives him a kiss and then goes back in the house.
The three friends are in a restaurant. Omar tells Tarek that he is thinking about settling down. Just then, a small boy, opens up the restaurant door and screams: "Undercover agents!" The friends dash out the back door. Omar is being closely chased by the agents. Finally, the agents get close enough to Omar that they put a bullet in his leg. He goes down and is captured.
They patched up his leg, then they make him get naked and hang his hands over his head with a chain. They then shine a bright light in his eyes. The first question: "Who was with you?" No answer. So the interrogator strikes Omar in the face with his fist. Next question: "Who shot the soldier" No answer, so Omar gets hit in the face again. The questions are repeated and now with no answers the interrogator keeps hitting Omar in the face with a toughened board. With a cigarette lighter, the interrogator burns Omar's private parts.
Omar is put in a cell and given food. Many days pass by. He says to himself they have no evidence against him and will have to let him go. Omar gets to walk around in a small courtyard. A fellow comes up to Omar, gives him his namesands says he's with Hamas. And now he wants to know from what group is Omar.
Now Omar is put in a barracks setting with lots of Palestinians and others. He finds himself a bunk to sleep on. At lunch a man says his name is Hassan Ismail of the Al-Aqsa Brigades. He warns Omar not to confess and never cooperate with the enemy. Otherwise, they will use Omar as their spy and that's a job that will be never-ending. The Israeli says he can't do anything for Omar unless he decides to work with them. Omar acts as if he wants to kill the Israeli, who now tells Omar to think about it.
Omar's lawyer says Omar is facing a minimum of 90 years. She also says as long as the occupation continues, there is no hope of changing the sentence.
The interrogator suggests that the only thing Omar can do is work with them. They know about his girlfriend and they know that Omar didn't kill the guard. The interrogator says that Tarek killed the soldier.
The interrogator is going to let Omar go for one month. If he doesn't deliver what they want, they will bring him right back to prison. Omar takes off. He goes up on top of a building where he can watch Nadia coming home from school. He waits for her and then grabs her. They hug each other. Later Omar asks where can he find Tarek? Nadia says she doesn't know because Tarek doesn't sleep at home.
Now Omar goes to see Amjad, the youngest of the youngest friends. He tells the seven sisters about how Amjad can reach him. Omar waits for a call on a public phone. He gets a call and goes to talk to Amjad and Tarek. Amjad wants to know what the Israelis want? Omar says they want him to deliver Tarek to them because they think Tarek did the killing. Tarek says they have a rat in their midst, but no one know his identity. He then says they should set up an ambush for the Israelis and get them all.
Omar gets a chance to be alone with Tarek and he tells Tarek that he wants to marry his sister. Tarek doesn't think this is a good time for Omar to be asking for Nadia. He says they will set up the ambush and if the ambush goes well, he'll think about Omar being with Nadia. The two men hug each other.
Omar sees Nadia the next day. He shows her an apartment for them to live in. She says she dreams about leaving this area. Omar tells her he's doing his best. Then he tells Nadia that Tarek says he will help them. The two kiss.
Omar goes home now. He rigs up a simple alarm system that will warn him if an enemy is after him. A group of men come after him and trigger the alarm. Again, Omar is running for his life. He gets ahead of the police and that gives him enough time to change his look. The police run right past him.
Omar goes up on the building to watch Nadia. He sees her talking to Amjad. He then talks with Nadia. She says that Amina is spreading rumors that Omar is a traitor. Omar tells her not to believe it. He now tells her that he saw her talking with Amjad.
Tarek feels they definitely caught their snitch now, so they can set up an ambush. He mentions to Omar that Amjad asked for Nadia's hand also.
Omar tells the Israelis what restaurant they will be at tomorrow. The three men all bring their automatic weapons. The Israelis make a lightning raid, but are only able to grab Omar. The Israeli interrogator says that Omar tried to double-cross him and he strikes Omar. Later Omar gets beaten up by two inmates who call him a traitor.
Omar asks for one more chance. The interrogator agrees to this.
Omar is released and goes to talk to Nadia. She tells him that he's a traitor. Nadia adds that four of their fighters died due to Omar. Omar changes the subject to Nadia. He asks her who told her that he, Omar, didn't shoot the soldier? What secrets do the Israelis know about her? What's going on between her and Amjad? Now Nadia runs away from him.
Omar keeps watching Nadia and he finally sees Amjad comes to see her at her school. Now Omar catches up with Amjad, who admits he talked to the Israelis. He also admits that he got Nadia pregnant. Omar starts to strangle Amjad, but can't finish the job. He says they will now both talk to Tarek. Amjad says it won't g, because Tarek will kill him. Omar says he won't let Tarek kill Amjad.
Tarek doesn't trust either guy. He gets Omar in a headlock and says he is a traitor. And Tarek already knows that Amjad talked to the Israelis. Tarek lets Omar go and now Omar tells Tarek that Amjad got Nadia pregnant. Now Tarek attacks Amjad and is determined to kill him. Now an Israeli sniper kills Tarek.
The Israelis take the ankle bracelet off Omar. They let both Omar and Amjad go free.
Omar asks for Amjad if Amjad can marry Nadia. Nadia wants Omar, but Omar doesn't want her, so she accepts Amjad. Omar gives his saved-up money to Amjad.
Tarek is given a funeral procession to the cemetery.
Omar goes back to work. But now Omar is questioned by the new field leader of the Jerusalem Brigade. They mostly ask Omar questions about Amjad. They want to know where Amjad got the money to get married to Nadia. Omar says he doesn't know because he hasn't seen Amjad in over two years. And, anyway, it's not the business of the new field leader to know.
The interrogator comes to talk with Omar at his job. He says they want to find Muhsen Ali-Taha, the new field leader of the Jerusalem Brigade.
Omar goes to speak with Amjad, but only Nadia and her two children are at home. Nadia apologizes to Omar for all the mix-ups. And now Omar apologizes to her. She says she still has Omar's letters to her.
Omar sets up a meeting with the Israelis. The first thing he says he wants from the interrogator is a pistol. The interrogator gives him a pistol and Omar acts as if has never even fired a pistol. He asks the interrogator how to load and fire the pistol. The interrogator instructs Omar. He shots a hole through a cactus pad. Now he gives the pistol to Omar so he can fire it. Omar points the pistol toward the cactus, but then turns the pistol into the interrogator's face and pulls the trigger.
The movie gives a good presentation of the bad relations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Each side uses murderous methods to get the upper hand on the other side. Both sides don't trust the other side. Sometimes the two sides work with parts of the other side, but the entire relationship is always questioned as very suspicious by both sides. They do work together at times, but no one trusts the other side for one minute. Both sides always question the enemy. They question each and every move on the chest board trying to figure what's really going on now. It's a terrible situation for both sides. Three young Palestinians kill an Israeli guard. The Israelis bring in one of the suspects and work on him to turn him into an Israeli spy. The captured Palestinian has to become a spy or it's a life-time in jail for him. Because the fellow is let go by the Israelis, many Palestinians think that the young Palestinian is a spy. And the spy begins to worry if the Israelis will ever relieve him of his spy duties for them. How much longer can such a relationship keep on going?
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.
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