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Movie Review: The Bands Visit (Bikur Ha-Tizmoret)

Alternate Title: Lost in Translation

Story: Would international relations fare better if ordinary citizenry negotiated peace? This small, charming and uplifting film by first time Israeli director and writer Eran Kolirin gives this idea credence.

A small Egyptian Ceremonial Police Band from Alexandria gets lost in the Israeli desert as they try to find the desert town where they are supposed to perform. Instead of arriving in Petach Tikva, they find themselves in the similar sounding Beitha Tikva. Out of money, with the last bus gone for the day, a sympathetic female owner of a cafe extends her hand in aid. How these fish out of water Egyptians deal with their Israeli hosts and vice versa is the beauty of the film. Small scenes of dialogue, all using broken English as their common language, turns ordinary events into humorous and touching moments.

If you are a fan of small Indie films with a beating heart, then check this one out.

Acting: The entire cast was terrific, including, Sasson Gabai,  Ronit Elkabetz,  Saleh Bakri,  Khalifa Natour,  Shlomi Avraham, Rubi Moskovitz, Uri Gavriel, Imad Jabarin and Tarak Kopty 

Predilection: None

Critters: A small street dog in a cameo role

Sex Spectrum: Sexual tension ran high throughout but there was only a hint of a sex scene.

Blatant Product Placement: None

Soundtrack: Some nice tunes wafted throughout the film.

Visual Art: The starkness of the landscape was visually interesting.

Theater Audience: Crowded for an early Sunday morning show.

Weather: Warm in the Israeli desert

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I was entertained for the whole film.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Once again the Academy has disqualified a film in the foreign film category because there was too much English used in the film. The Academy needs desperately to update its rules in this category.

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine. Moments in the film reminded me of the classic flm, The Russians are Coming, without the satire.

Length: 85 minutes