The Attack (2012): Do You Ever Really Know the One You Love?

Posted: February 15, 2014 in Drama, Foreign
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the-attack-poster01The day after being the first Arab to win a prestigious Israeli medical award, Amin is working at the hospital when a bomb goes off elsewhere in Tel Aviv. As the bodies come charging in, he ends up working a late night and returns to an empty house. In the middle of the night, the phone rings and he is called to return to the hospital. Upon his arrival, he learns that his wife was in the blast that killed 17 people and he is asked to identify her body. Collapsing from the sight of her, the Israeli police begin their investigation, with his wife as the primary suspect in the suicide bombing. The police aggressively question him, believing that he is withholding information. He becomes detached after getting released. Only his friend, Kim, stays with him to support him in his time of need while he seeks the truth of his wife’s death.

Starring: Ali Suliman (Amin Jaafari), Evgenia Dodena (Kim), Reymond Amsalem (Siham Jaafari), Dvir Benedek (Raveed), Uri Gavriel (Captain Moshe), Rubeh Salameh (Faten), Karim Saleh (Adel), Ramzi Makdessi (Priest), Nisrin Siksik (Leila)

Ali Suliman was fantastic throughout this film. Starting from a state of disbelief in the news about his wife, he traveled through the stages of grief in a somewhat chaotic manner. He made it easy to feel for him and desire closure. Uri Gavriel was a scary police officer, willing to push Suliman’s character to the limit to get the answers he craved. Evgenia Dodena’s performance was reserved but also balanced to give Suliman’s character just enough support. Amsalem and Benedek also gave moving performances.

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Ziad Doueiri’s drama asked questions about how closely one can truly know their partner and how far will one go to learn the truth. Amin’s life was at a high point, with success at work, a beautiful wife, and close friends. The attack on a Tel Aviv restaurant was surely a shock for Amin, one which drove him into a dark and dangerous place. Traveling through the stages of grief, he started from a place of disbelief, then became angry and detached, and eventually determined to seek out answers. While he received proof that Siham had committed the act, Amin had to go back to Palestine to track down the terrorists responsible for pulling her in. The answers he found out may have brought a sense of closure to his question of why but they did not bring a sense of relief along with finally knowing.

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The interesting conflict of this film is that it takes a different approach to the Israeli-Paletsinian conflict. He had suffered through a challenging existence living in Tel Aviv prior to the attack, but he had also slowly earned the respect of his peers. While he had adjusted, Siham had not and she still felt a continued connection to her Palestinian homeland. In an effort to get redemption for Amin’s lost connection with his roots and integrating into Israeli life, Siham felt obligated to take action. She became a martyr back in Palestine, but Amin returning home was not seen as a supportive visit. Other than his family, he had been shunned and his refusal to support Sahim’s actions had left him disconnected with the Palestinian nation. Rather than feeling obligated to turn over the evidence to the Tel Aviv police, he decided that he was no longer attached to anyone, with no sense of home anywhere.

This film is complex and an impressive piece of storytelling. Suliman gave a strong performance and brought life to this tragic story.

Dan’s Rating: 4.0/5

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