Omar: New York Film Festival 2013

A filmmaker who has chronicled the Palestinian experience with poise and a lack of easy finger-pointing, Hany Abu-Assad has made stellar...

New York Film Festival 2013: Omar

A filmmaker who has chronicled the Palestinian experience with poise and a lack of easy finger-pointing, Hany Abu-Assad has made stellar experimental quasidocs (Ford Transit) and humanist dramas (Paradise Now). His latest effort finds him tackling a traditional thriller, and the result feels like he’s loudly shooting off a clip full of blanks. Omar (Adam Bakri) is an ordinary West Bank resident, hanging out with his buddies and making goo-goo eyes at his best friend’s sister (Leem Lubany). When a hypothetical “revolutionary” results in real-world violence, however, Omar finds himself being used as a pawn by his pals and as a stool pigeon by Israeli intelligence. Bakri has charisma to burn, but the complexity of Abu-Assad’s previous movies is traded in for weak genre thrills. One hopes this film gets his need to make an episode of 24 out of his system and he can get back to doing what he does best. Click for showtimes.—David Fear

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