Private

Film, Drama
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Time Out says

When the relatively isolated house inhabited by Mohammad B and his family is commandeered by an Israeli army platoon, reactions vary as to how to respond to the harsh, humiliating restrictions and nightly imprisonment imposed by Commander Ofer and his soldiers. Mohammad, a teacher, insists they stay in their home and just obey orders until the troops leave; his wife wants to move out, while the reactions of the kids – from infants to a daughter of university age – range from fascination through fear to feisty, even fatal resistance. The young troops, meanwhile, also have mixed feelings, some clearly unhappy at Ofer’s violent and threatening treatment of their reluctant Palestinian hosts, others getting off, perhaps, on their position of power, and some so complacent at being armed that they don’t realise how very deeply they’re hated.
Set in Palestine but made in Italy (not that you’d know it), this superior, suspenseful drama deploys the family members’ relationships both with one another and with their oppressors to explore – with eloquence and dramatic efficacy – a range of issues to do with submission and resistance. Muscular performances and hand-held camerawork give the film a raw immediacy, and black and white moralising is carefully avoided; it’s soon made clear that in such a situation there are no winners, only losers. At the same time, the film does find room for hope – some characters at least are aware that violence can never be anything but a last, desperate resort that usually solves nothing. Strong stuff, but very sensible, too.

Details

Release details

Rated:
15
Release date:
Friday May 13 2005
Duration:
95 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Saverio Costanzo
Cast:
Hend Ayoub
Lior Miller
Mohammad Bakri
Tomer Russo
Arin Omary