Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bethlehem: Ancient City/Modern Drama

Tsahi Halevi as Razi and Shadi Mar'l as Sanfur

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this Middle Eastern film, is that it's the product of an Israeli director and so similar to Omar, which was directed by a Palestinian. Both are tragic stories of people caught up in an intractable conflict not of their making.

In this movie, Razi is an Israeli Secret Service officer who has developed a caring, fatherly relationship with his young Palestinian informant, Sanfur. It's a bond as star crossed as that between Romeo and Juliet.

As in Omar, viewers are introduced to the warring factions that prevent the characters from leading the lives they long for. For the Movie Slut, the problem with Bethlehem is that the reasons for the strength and depth of the bond between the characters was never made clear, especially on the part of Razi, who comes across as being somewhat weak and naive. Not the usual MO for Israeli agents.

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