• James Rutherford

'Omar': A Provocative Account of Fractured Existence and Profound Moral Ambiguity


Movie poster for the film Omar starring Adam Bakri and Leem Lubany

“Omar” (2013) is a vital Palestinian drama-thriller starring Adam Bakri as Omar, an unassuming Palestinian baker who frequently climbs the West Bank Barrier Wall to visit his girlfriend, Nadia (Leem Lubany), a high school student he plans to marry.


Caught by Israeli soldiers and beaten mercilessly, Omar and his friends Tarek (Eyad Hourani) and Amjad (Samer Bisharat) retaliate violently, leading to the death of an Israeli soldier. Ultimately tracked down and imprisoned in Israel, Omar is blackmailed by an Israeli agent named Rami (Waleed Zuaiter) and forced to operate as a double-agent against his own people. Rami manipulates and coerces Omar into a series of complicated and elaborated operations, as Omar struggles against Rami’s oppressive hand and yearns to unite with Nadia.


Written and directed by Hany Abu-Assad (“Paradise Now, “The Mountain Between Us”), this Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film (2014) is as much a dynamic true-to-life thriller as a profound cultural and political statement. An utterly provocative account of fractured existence and moral ambiguity, it’s revelatory international cinema at its very finest.

 

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