Salt of This Sea

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Journeying from Brooklyn to Palestine, a young Arab-American woman named Soraya (Hammad) mounts a personal fight against political injustice in this impassioned, but wearisomely didactic, diaspora drama. Everything from border crossings to bank robberies illustrate points rather than function dramatically; even when love develops between Soraya and blue-eyed heartthrob Emad (Bakri), their affair has all the heat of a PAC petition. Reality, even an unjust one, is inevitably complicated, but our heroine remains righteous until the end, never working through the emotional distance between home and homeland.—Eric Hynes

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This is a moving, subtle film, directed stylistically and featuring poignant performances by the two main actors. It depicts what happens when a young, idealistic woman from New York goes on a journey to discover her past and finds that it has been erased from history - but not from memory. Ultimately, it is a good film, but unfortunately, most American film critics have an agenda or bias (unconscious or not) against films originating from the Middle East, especially those that touch on the ever-delicate subject of the Israeli occupation, and would prefer to look away.