Kinotag: The Band’s Visit

Claudia and I had the last-minute opportunity to see Bikur Ha-Tizmoret (The Band’s Visit) at the Luxor in Walldorf last night. It was the first and only time so far that they actually started the movie on time, without previews or anything else. I would not mention this, had we not been held up at the ticket counter by an old lady with a complaint. So, with five minutes until showtime, we were slurping down our free glas of sparkling wine at the bar, and when we went in, there was the film!

It is an Israeli/French/US co-op, a quiet, charming, lovely gem of a film, telling the story of the police orchestra from Alexandria who has been invited to an Israeli town for the opening of a new Arab cultural centre. Alas, they end up in a dead-end town with a similar sounding name and must spend the night there. Three people they meet at a diner end up taking them into their homes for the night, and the story goes on from there.

There is no fighting, no hostility, no discussion of politics, just the interactions of strangers who are uneasy with each other until they figure out that they have more in common than they would have expected.

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8 thoughts on “Kinotag: The Band’s Visit

  1. I just read about this last night in Newsweek. The writer was complaining that once again, the academy had overlooked this gem of a film. I look forward to seeing it eventually.

  2. Actually, I read on IMDB that it could not be entered as a foreign film because most of the dialogue is in English. Now why that makes sense, I don’t know, but that’s how it is.

  3. Yes, but to qualify a film as foreign based on the language used is a little anal. After all, it wouldn’t have made any sense to have the Israelis speak Hebrew and the Egyptians speak Arabic and expect the movie to work!

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