Review: The Band's Visit (3/5)

The low-key but hard-hitting debut feature of Director Eran Kolirin swept the Cinemanila jurors off their feet with its biting sense of humor and pitch-perfect understatement, making it the grand prize winner of the Main Competition during the 10th Cinemanila International Film Festival.

This festival darling is about the Alexandria Police Orchestra visiting an Israeli town to play for the opening of the Arab Cultural Center, but they get stood up in the airport. Out of desperation, they boarded a bus and eventually got lost in a desolate desert town. Stuck in a predicament they can’t get out of, they were forced to spend one awkward night with the locals. Despite the language barrier and the lack of common ground, the Egyptians and the Jews soon made good music together with their shared humanity and sympathy towards one another.

“The Band’s Visit” is a tender affirmation that regardless of war and tension, even conflicting races can and will connect with each other. The characters may have spoken in fractured English, without any fancy vocabulary, but the message they have conveyed in this modest film are far more meaningful and affecting than other more ambitious films.

To end this review, let me cite my favorite scene from the movie:
After one of the Egyptian musicians played his unfinished sonata (He failed to finish it due to family responsibilities.), the Israeli who is facing the same problem with his family told him, “Maybe this is how your sonata ends,” making inference to the dark, empty room where they are in, “Not sad, not happy. In a small room, and tons of loneliness.”


Related Posts with Thumbnails