2 June 2014
Film of the Week: Omar
From director Hany Abu-Assad comes Omar, a Palestinian film about love in an environment which values only warfare and the surrounding, violent tension the West Bank. Omar is used to crossing the separation wall to reach his girlfriend Nadia, until he is captured and forced to become an informant.
The film’s central theme lies somewhere between Omar deciding to start a life as a freedom fighter or pursuing his relationship with Nadia. From the very opening of the film, Adam Bakri (Omar) is mesmerising as a conflicted member of the resistance who is longing to escape with the girl that he loves. The scenes following his capture are brutally dark, the intensity increased with the ominous soundtrack of only what is picked up from the hostile environment. This is set next to the simple and sweet scenes with Nadia- lightness and dark on both sides of the wall.
There is always a sense of Omar being watched- he climbs around the city as nimble and delicate as a dancer, with the backdrop being the maze he cannot escape, only negotiate. The location shooting is breathtaking beautiful and yet oppressive- the city rising around the central characters as though gates to his personal imprisonment. The challenge is set for Omar- to rise above the city and escape the complex web that surrounds him.
“If you do talk…there’s no turning back and there’s no end to it” he is warned while he’s incarcerated. The film delivers the twists and turns of an effective thriller of love, betrayal and secrets.
Omar is showing now in selected cinemas.