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With Jim Sabatini

The Attack

The Attack
Ali Suliman and Reymonde Amsellem  

Rated: R for some violent images, language and brief sexuality
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: June 28, 2013 Released by: Cohen Media

Continuing Arab/Palestine enmity has brought on controversy and censorship for this new intriguing drama from Lebanese-born helmer Ziad Doueiri, once a camera assistant for Quentin Tarantino.

The Attack (drawn from a novel by Yasmina Khadra and in Arabic and Hebrew with subtitles) has a shadowy emotional depth to it that induces apprehension in spite of what some may think of its construct, perhaps absurdly pat to a degree, especially in some expository passages which could elicit considerable frustration. The narrative takes on an unavoidable thorny quality and issues with a certain well-rounded immediacy handling the platitudinous politics with much dexterity.

Palestinian surgeon Amin, a striking Ali Suliman of Paradise Now, has acclimated himself into Tel Aviv mores when horror at a children's party has him doing what he can for the dozen or so victims. It turns out, after arising the next day, that his seemingly sweet wife Sihem (Reymonde Amsellem, seen in flashbacks and maybe to some as a plot device) according to Israeli authorities was behind the titular suicide bombing.

Amin doesn't have any viable answers as to her motivations and is released after some gratuitous grilling; the rest of The Attack has him on a personal quest that puts in doubt about the woman whom has been most significant in his life. Suliman nearly occupies every shot that proves captivating as moral ambivalence and strife is palpable as a sort of reconnection is made from Tel Aviv to the West Bank. A deftly precise Doueiri gets the most out of his lead performer to at least insinuate that any recognizable or desirable solutions are hard to render than edifying realpolitik into tremulous circumstances.

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The Attack        B+                     B+ 

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