The Web    www.100share.com    Google
 
The Band's Visit
List Price: $14.99

Our Price: $14.99

You Save:

 


Customer Reviews:

  • Reflection on humanity
    One of the best foreign films I have seen recently is "The Band's Visit". Story about the City of Alexandria (Egypt) Police Department music band that plays traditional Arabic music. When this group of musicians is invited to come to Israel in the local Arabic Cultural Center to perform, they find themselves on a wrong bus and in the wrong village. Stranded in the city with limited resources and no translators, the band is left to their own devices for food, and overnight sleep. This is where the hearwarming part of the movie starts. Locals unaccustomed to any visitors, open their hearts and homes to these strangers. Simple show of kindness such as giving them food and a bed to sleep opens up everyone involved in the deeper reflection about their own lives, their purpose, about the art and about meaning of family and community. One cannot help but laugh about universal domestic bickering; understanding about strain unemployment brings to a young family; heartbreak about loneliness and despair; universal need for love and understanding. You will be rewarded by a beautiful traditional arabic musical piece at the end that will be a crown jewel of this wonderful little film....more info
  • This Film is a Gem!
    I loved this movie. It is a true gem.

    The story is about an Egyptian Police Band that is supposed to do a performance at the opening of a new Egyptian Cultural Center in Israel. One of the band's members asks for directions to the city and mispronounces the Hebrew word for the town. Thus, the misadventures start.

    The band ends up in a small town in the middle of nowhere. It is certainly not a place of any culture says the woman who runs the restaurant where their bus lets them off.

    This comedic and poignant film unfolds duing a period of little more than 24 hours, until the band can catch the next bus to the right place. We see lust, love, pain, grief and hope. We laugh a lot. I guffawed a few times. We are witness to how people learn to accept one another and go past their prior negative feelings.

    I recommend this movie without reservation. It is wonderful....more info
  • Slowwww....
    ... and I'm an easy mark for slow movies! Most of my favorites are slow, sly, and understated - Wild Strawberries, Babette's Feast, Ikiru, for examples. "The Band's Visit" isn't quite that good, but it's one of the most intelligently slow films I've seen recently. The redoubtable Grady Harp has done a competent job of summarizing the action and introducing the characters, leaving me free to be tangential. Being tangential goes hand in glove with loving slow movies, and The Band's Visit is one huge tangent on the insanity of the Arab-Israeli hate fest. The very ordinary Israelis and the quirky but also ordinary Egyptians in this film show an ability to accept each other's humanity that would win them all Nobel Peace Prizes if they were in charge of anything.

    "The Band's Visit" is also wryly funny. Not the loud guffaw kind of funny. Mostly the tightly engaged chuckle kind of funny, though a few scenes brought audible whoops from my teenage son. And it's sad. Yes, very sad. The two principal characters -- the widowed Egytian bandmaster and the divorced Israeli 'woman of a certain age' -- are too real not to be sad. Two more disparate humans couldn't be found on the planet, and yet they emerge with a sincere appreciation of each other. The acting, by the way, in this film is so natural and and crafty that one has to pinch oneself to remember that 'they' were acting. Perhaps that's why so many reviewers have stopped at four stars in their ratings; the artfulness of this movie is so understated and sly that the viewers forget they're watching a film, an artifact of cameras and cutting rooms. This film deserved all the various industry awards that it received from people who appreciate their art....more info
  • What you feel will be more than what you see
    Good writing, it has been argued, demands a keen sense of what to leave out. This remarkable film excels in its choice of what to omit.

    Never before in viewing a film have I so strongly felt the presence of matters off-screen. This film, I believe, is nothing less than a profound fable about the whole of relations between the Arab and Israeli worlds. Remarkably what triumphs here is the humanity of each culture. Each is heroic; each is humane.

    Sadly, there is never peacefulness, just tension never resolved; sadly, there is never triumph, just accomodation. There is an aching sadness throughout the film--there has been loss; there still is loss, there will always be loss. Throughout the film--especially in the silent moments (where I swear you hear the voices of Jewish and Muslim dead) and especially in the memorable shots of empty landscapes and ruminative shots of main characters--which never seem to fully fill the camera frame (where I swear you see the ghosts of Arab and Israeli dead)--there is the weight of a ruinous past, a troubled present, an unresolved future.

    May G-d bless; Inshallah

    ...more info
  • Quiet character study, very human and humane
    An Egyptian police band arrives in Israel to play at the opening of an Arab cultural center. Due to a mix-up they are not met at the airport and take the bus to the wrong destination - Beit Hatikva instead of Petah Tikva. It turns out to be an almost deserted, run-down hole in the ground somewhere in the desert where, as one character says, there is no Arab culture, no Israeli culture, no culture at all.
    The movie traces the interaction of the band members with some of the locals who offer them hospitality. Little by little, we learn about these characters -- their frustrated hopes and hidden sorrows. Divided by language and culture, they manage to find common ground in some of the small details of daily life.
    This is a quiet, restrained movie which makes its points subtly, without blaring them. It is also a movie, made through cooperation of Israeli Jewish and Palestinian actors, from which politics is entirely absent. These people don't have the time or energy to fight out the Middle East peace process -- they are too busy trying to get through their tough and unsatisfying lives with some dignity intact.
    Visually this movie was a delight. The weird sky blue of the band's uniform is posed against the drab desert background of the town.
    This movie is not flawless. I found it difficult to believe that the feisty lead female character would allow herself to be stuck in a place like Beit Hatikva. Some of the plot developments are a little predictable. But all in all, this quiet movie containts some lovely performances and a message we can all relate to....more info
  • I liked it...
    I really enjoyed this movie. My family hated it. I thought it was quirky and fun and a pleasure to go along for the ride. The different personalities of the band members and the small townspeople were universally recognizable. Very human. I really liked it. Not for everyone....more info
  • Laughs & Chuckles for the Mature Sense of Humor
    If you like slapstick humor, or if you think TV sit-coms are funny, you probably won't like this movie. The humor in this movie is much more sophisticated. One scene was particularly funny when one of the band members, who viewed himself as quite a ladies man, was coaching one of the Jewish men, who was painfully shy with women. Like all the humor in this movie, it is dead-pan humor. The band leader never cracks a smile because he takes everything so seriously; but the situations he encounters are very funny. This movie uses humor to show the universality of the human experience, and that it can overcome political differences. The movie works because it is an Egyptian band, a country at peace with Israel; I don't think it would work if it was an Hamas or Palestinian band. One other aspect I found interesting was that when the Hebrew speaking Jews talked directly to the Arabic speaking Egyptians, they used English! - [So, it is not all subtitled, although you might want to use closed captioning because of their accents.]

    It is a shame that several reviewers here have such an immature understanding of humor that they can't get past the TV humor that is so stupid or put-down that they have to put in a laugh track to let people know when to laugh. This movie is for those with a mature sense of humor....more info
  • Lost and Found
    Like the utterly different Paradise Now, The Band's Visit finds the complex humans behind the popular dichotomies of the Middle East. A budget-pressed Egyptian police band, still resplendent in their (as one character says) "Michael Jackson" uniforms arrives in Israel, is not met by their sponsors, takes travel matters into their own hands, and winds up lost and nearly without money in the most dreary desert town this side of Wristcutters: A Love Story. The band is hungry; its straitlaced director approaches the restaurant owner, Dina, and asks for food and the chance to pay with Egyptian money. She prepares a meal and, after telling them there is no hotel in town, invites them to stay in her home and that of her unemployed friend with marriage problems and a wife's birthday.

    And so the bare desert stage is set for a singular night. Among the many quiet, amusing and lonely vignettes: the band director, Tewfiq, reveals his personal sadness to Dina in a concrete plaza as they listen to an imaginary sea; a band member unconsciously wipes out a glass as if in a dubious restaurant, except he's sitting at table with his Israeli hosts; and -- best of all -- the band's ladies man gives dating help in a roller rink to a painfully shy Israeli.

    Day comes, the band moves on to its correct destination, and plays. Life returns to normal, but normal for the dozen characters in The Band's Visit has been forever, if only slightly, altered.

    ...more info
  • and the band played on
    A delightful and reflective film, but not something for folks looking for lots of action. However, for those of you who intensely dislike subtitles, almost all the dialog is in English as it's the only language the Egyptians and Israelis share. A small Egyptian Police orchestra is sent to Israel on a cultural exchange program, but gets badly lost due to the differences between Arabic and Hebrew. The band director sends the youngest member of the group to the bus ticket booth, but he's too busy flirting with the pretty vendor to pay much attention to what she's actually saying. In Arabic the letter P doesn't exist, so Arabs usually say B instead as in Bebsi Cola. So instead of going to Petah Tikva, just outside of Tel Aviv, they wind up going to a small isolated desert town, Bet Hatikva where they quickly become stranded. Although both sides are immediately suspicious of each other, the townsfolk take them in and give them food and shelter for the night, and over time the two groups find they have more in common individually and culturally than either imagines. Every thing is low key, and while there's quite a bit of humor throughout, it's not really at anyone's expense. However, the scene where the young Egyptian coaches a young Israeli on how to approach a woman is a scream. Well worth watching....more info
  • Laughs & Chuckles for the Mature Sense of Humor
    If you like slapstick humor, or if you think TV sit-coms are funny, you probably won't like this movie. The humor in this movie is much more sophisticated. One scene was particularly funny when one of the band members, who viewed himself as quite a ladies man, was coaching one of the Jewish men, who was painfully shy with women. Like all the humor in this movie, it is dead-pan humor. The band leader never cracks a smile because he takes everything so seriously; but the situations he encounters are very funny. This movie uses humor to show the universality of the human experience, and that it can overcome political differences. The movie works because it is an Egyptian band, a country at peace with Israel; I don't think it would work if it was an Hamas or Palestinian band. One other aspect I found interesting was that when the Hebrew speaking Jews talked directly to the Arabic speaking Egyptians, they used English! - [So, it is not all subtitled, although you might want to use closed captioning because of their accents.]

    It is a shame that several reviewers here have such an immature understanding of humor that they can't get past the TV humor that is so stupid or put-down that they have to put in a laugh track to let people know when to laugh. This movie is for those with a mature sense of humor....more info
  • A charming Middle-Eastern art film
    "The Band's Visit" is a charming, gentle, low-key art film telling the tale of a touring Egyptian police band that finds itself stranded in a podunk town in the Israeli desert. Short on cash and having missed the last bus of the days, the forlorn Egyptians are forced to rely on the kindness of strangers -- in this case, the same Israelis who they have recently been at war with. But the Israelis are every bit as forlorn as the Egyptians -- everybody's a little bit broken inside, struggling with the same little lonelinesses and discarded hopes. The two groups don't entirely bridge their cultural gap, but they come pretty close. This is a very deliberate, quiet film -- some may find the pacing a bit glacial, but it certainly pays of in the end. Definitely worth checking out! (Joe Sixpack, Slipcue film reviews)...more info
  • "It's The Sound Of The Water And The Waves...You Can Hear The Whole World...Like A Symphony..."
    When the blue-uniformed Egyptian police band 'The Alexandria Ceremonial Orchestra' gets lost in small town Israel on its way to an Arab cultural centre, it sets the scene for personal and ideological differences to be tested and turned around - and the results are both achingly funny and truly life-affirming. "The Band's Visit" has clocked up over 35 International awards and having enjoyed every rather lovely and quirky minute of it, I can easily see why it's captured the hearts of so many.

    Tewfiq - the regimental, guarded and awkward 65-year old bandleader - is played with truly stunning restraint by veteran Arab actor SASSON GABAI - who in turns strikes up an unlikely relationship with the town's feisty and vibrant 35-year old caf¨¦ owner Dina - played with relish and gusto by the gorgeous RONIT ELKABETZ - an actress who lights up the screen every second she's on it. This woman has a choker of gold around her ankle and her toenails are painted - any interesting man who comes to her 'dead' town had better watch out. Tewfiq is an interesting man - despite their huge age difference. But he's also the sort of old school gentleman who will open a door for a lady, but won't answer her probing personal questions - even if love 'is' on the cards...

    The orchestra of 8 has its youngest member in the womanizing romantic that is Halib - played by the handsome SALEH BAKRI. The scene where he sings "My Funny Valentine" to a pretty receptionist behind a glass protection panel at the airport is both hilarious and touching.

    In some respects not a lot happens in "The Band's Visit" - hours pass, backgammon is played, roads lined with thousands of overhanging streetlights stretch out for miles in either direction without a car every bothering the shimmering tarmac. A fork falls on the kitchen floor, someone clips a moustache, a hat is hung over a picture of a tank so as not to offend. But then - against all this boredom and monochrome existence - you're hit with scenes of unexpected tenderness. There's a local lad waiting all night by the town callbox for his girlfriend to call. The shy and awkward band member played superbly by KHALIFA MATOUR sitting on the bed of the family who have offered him overnight accommodation; he's watching their baby boy sleep - when he suddenly gets the notes in his head to finish that concerto for clarinet he's been writing, but sadly never finished. His face as he realizes his dream. Or in the local dancehall - where the impossibly awkward and shy lad Papi - who wants an equally awkward and shy girl - is helped by the woman-knowing Halib. It's as funny and as tender as cinema gets - truly fantastic stuff.

    Alongside the silences is the other character - Music - and its ability to break down barriers, bring people together, dissipate awkward situations. It features heavily throughout the film and it gives the piece its emotional heart. The father of the family who sings Gershwin's "Summertime" at the dinner table and all the religions join in; the pop music on the radio in the car breaking the silence for the youngsters as they drive through Saturday night; the band practising an Arabic lullaby in the warm evening air outside the town caf¨¦...

    But there's better than that. There are about five scenes with Tewfiq and Dina where their discussions about men and women and marriage and children - are just electrifying - and its easy to see why so many of those International Film Awards were for the screenplay which the Writer/Director ERAN KOLIRIN freely admits took 9 years to perfect. Dina is lonely despite her vivaciousness and Tewfiq has deep hidden pain. When Gabai and Elkabetz are together, they're dialogue and interaction really are something else - both of them rising to the great material. (His discussion about fishing being the most 'important thing in the world' gives this review its title).

    If you were to highlight downsides, they'd only be minor niggles - the entire end credits rolling up in front of you are in Arabic and not in English so you can't understand a single word - nor know who did what. And in the Special Features Section - the Photo Gallery pictures many of the actors without telling us Westerners who they are. Sloppy. However, these are countered by a lovely 20-minute "Making Of The Fairy Tale" featurette, which has interviews with the director, the traditional/modern music editor HABIB SHADAD and the principal actors - and is both warm and very illuminating.

    With Arabs and Jews, Palestinian and Israeli artists all making this movie together - "The Band's Visit" is Israeli cinema coming of age and something of a cultural milestone. It's about music and love and made with the same. Eran Kolirin has produced a little gem out of all that political mayhem and personal demarcation - and he and his crew should be rightly proud of it.

    Like "Caramel" and "The Namesake", this is a foreign film that does not dwell on the extinction of life, but the living of it. I was deeply moved.

    Put "Bikur Ha-Tizmoret" or "The Band's Visit" high on your rental/to buy list - highly recommended....more info
  • Bit over sold
    Publicity I feel oversold the film. Nice bits and soft bits but I felt not as riviting as I had expected...more info
  • Invisible Politics
    "The Band's Visit"

    Invisible Politics

    Amos Lassen


    The new Israeli film "The Band's Visit" has an interesting approach. It is a film about Arabs and Israelis without politics. Basically it is the story of an eight man Egyptian band that is stranded in an Israeli desert town overnight. The members of the band have no money and they are forced to depend upon the Israelis citizens to provide them with both and shelter. Israelis are by nature rough on the outside but tender within are the opposite of the polite and dignified, but broke, Egyptians. As the film explores the characters, we get a new and humorous look at Arab/Israeli relations. Nothing much happens aside from small exchanges between the two groups of people. The two groups also learn a great deal about each other during the band's visit. What they learn most is the definition of humanity.
    Eran Kolirin wrote and directed this wonderful little film. There is not a lot of dialog because the two groups do not speak the same language and the fact that there is not much to talk about in the middle of the desert. One stellar performance, however, stands out--Ronit Elkabetz as Dina who has the quality of the citizens of the town Beit Hatikva down pat.
    There are several wonderful scenes here that are not likely to be forgotten. To some the film may seem slow and low-key but after getting into the film there are lots of rewards. For one thing the theme of loneliness is beautifully handled. Everyone seems lonely for a different reason and some come to terms with it by embracing someone from a culture that they have been taught to hate.
    ...more info
  • Uplifting Tale of Humanity
    This is a beautiful film leaving the viewer uplifted, and with a renewed sense of hope. An Egyptian Police Ceremonial Band, played mostly by Palestinian actors, ends up in the wrong town on their way to an Arab cultural center opening. As they emerge from the bus, they are in a remote Israeli town, with no bus out until the next morning, no hotel in town, presumably no other Arabs in town, and essentially no money.

    The band is led by a very stiff "General" who is now forced to depend upon the kindness of strangers in looking after his charges, until the next bus out of town the next day.

    Although it could have been a mindless comedy, the film takes a very serious approach to character development and depicting the interaction of the two cultures, resulting in many intensely humorous moments.

    All the main characters are touched by the meeting of these two cultures and groups of peoples, and changed by it in positive ways.

    The movie's humanity and love characterize it, and give us all hope for greater interaction between Arabs and Israelis along a similar vein, allowing such a recipe to emerge again, and again.

    Bravo! ...more info
  • A very depressing movie!
    A very depressing movie. The Egyptians arrive in their starched, perfectly tailored uniforms and throughout their short adventure, the uniforms show not a crease nor a smudge. In contrast the Israeli town they stay in looks ugly and worn. The Israelis are all sad and worn also. Obviously one cannot help but feel a certain tension between the Egyptians and Israelis, although there is no mention of this in the film at all.

    I am sure that a message is in there somewhere, but it is difficult to decipher it. Is it that all of us are the same . . or that the Egyptians are more concerned with appearance than with reality . . or that the Israelis are kind and gentle despite their outward appearance?

    ...more info
  • Sad movie
    This movie has an interesting premise, but leaves you wanting more. Almost all of the Egyptian band members act very reserved and depressed during the movie. They rarely smile, say much or do anything. It seems like this movie has a lot of potential for friednships to form, but it ends up seeming like an inconsequential visit. The movie is worth checking out, but in my opinion it ends up being less than advertised. ...more info