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Omar (2013)

My Ratings: 3.8/5.

Omar was been selected as the Palestinian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at last year’s Oscars and it did confirm it’s place among the top five nominees.

In fact Omar is the second film from Palestine to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film; the first one being Paradise Now in 2005. And it cannot be a coincidence that both these films are directed by Hany Abu-Assad.

Omar-poster4The film is placed in the heart of the Israel versus Palestine controversy but fortunately it’s not only about the Jew-Arab political conflict and related militant violence – it’s also a story of love, friendship and sacrifice.

The Palestinian protagonist Omar (Adam Bakri) living in the West Bank had a relatively simple life as he worked in a bakery and loved a girl named Nadia (Leem Lubany) whom he wanted to marry soon.

But then he along with his two close friends Tarek (Iyad Hoorani) and Amjad (Samer Bisharat), who considered themselves as freedom fighters, organized a sniper attack on an Israeli Military post and since that night Omar‘s life took a dangerous route.

Repeatedly tortured by the Israeli police and suspected as a traitor by his own friends Omar desperately tries to hold on to his roots; he is beaten and bruised but he never looses his hope.

omar-posterThe tall separation wall running through the occupied Palestine which Omar had to climb each time he wanted to visit his lover Nadia, is a constant reminder of the agonizing political scenario – a barrier forcibly imposed and ordained over the innocent population.  

Director Hany Abu-Assad manages to impartially summarize the terrors faced by both the Israelis and the Palestinians; a riveting political thriller perfectly blended with a love story.

Omar is a film that knits a complex web of love and hatred, loyalty and betrayal, fear and bravery, ideological differences and paranoia. 

Highly recommended for the film-lovers across the world.

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