Home > Movies, Reviews > Movie Review: ‘The Band’s Visit’

Movie Review: ‘The Band’s Visit’

May 3, 2008

imageI wish MrsDoF hadn’t been too busy rolling balls of yarn to go to the movies with me.  Sometimes a guy just can’t get a date to save his life.

I saw The Band’s Visit this evening at the historic Normal Theater.  It’s a 2007 story about an Egyptian police band travelling to give a concert at an Arab culture center in Israel.  They get on the wrong bus and end up stranded in the wrong town; a town in the middle of nowhere with no hotel.  Locals take them in for the night.

It’s a very different kind of film from the American movies I’m used to. I went because I have never seen a full-length Israeli film, know very little about life in Israel, and have very little context for Arab poetry or music.  There’s no ‘action’, no politics and very little religion. It’s character-driven, quiet, and a quite unadorned look at the lives of people in the Israeli town, and in the Egyptian band.  The characters once had dreams, they’re lonely, grieving, impatient, defeated or self-important, and the story, to the extent there is one, is in how they behave when thrust together.  It has some moments where the whole theater filled with laughter, and at least one moment where you’d best have a hankie.  At least, I needed one when the band leader explains to the beautiful restaurant owner what happened to his wife and son.

Oddly enough the film was rejected for an Oscar in the ‘foreign films’ category because it had ‘too much English’ in it.  Though, if Egyptians and Israelis needed to communicate, that’s the language they have in common…

Categories: Movies, Reviews
  1. May 5, 2008 at 14:01 | #1

    I’m guessing you liked it, then? I’ve seen the trailer a couple times and planned on adding it to my Netflix queue whenever I restart my account.

  2. May 6, 2008 at 02:22 | #2

    I’ve only heard good things about this movie.

  3. May 6, 2008 at 07:18 | #3

    It was interesting to me for the reasons I mentioned, which is certainly one kind of ‘like’.  I’m looking forward to Iron Man for entirely different reasons.

    But yeah, I liked it.

Comments are closed.