Saturday, February 23, 2008
638. The Band's Visit
I just saw a wonderful movie: The Band's Visit, the story of a little Egyptian police band who find themselves in the wrong, boring backwater Israeli town. Like Seinfeld or Waiting For Godot, it's the story of spending a great deal of time doing nothing at all, and the unexpected encounters and connections we find as a result. The Band's Visit is drily funny and a little sentimental, with dialogue so sparse it could have been a poem. It unfolds against a stark sand backdrop like a slow, sky-blue dream (the color of the Egyptians' very proper uniforms, which they never remove). It is also, like almost every movie made in Israel, a metaphor for the the Arab-Israeli conflict. We all have loneliness in common no matter what our backgrounds or beliefs. But you don't have to think about politics when you watch this movie--just people, and how we can meet each other deeply even under the least expected, most threatening of circumstances.