The Attack (2012)

The AttackThe Attack” is a film about love, friendship, trust, betrayal, hate, beliefs and much more. First of all, it is a great movie to see. Direction by Ziad Doueiri is excellent, it has a gripping story (L’attentat is a best seller) which combined with the acting of all actors involved totally immerses the spectator in the film’s story. It is also a film that raises numerous issues for discussion.

Most of all, it is from these films that have a point (or more) to make (as I suppose does the book). So, unless the story is unveiled, one cannot really discuss about the film.

Things I liked in the film:

  • The thanking speech of the Arab surgeon when he was awarded the prize
  • The way his memories unfolded about his wife
  • The scene when he was watching the video at the end

So, the rest of the post contains spoilers and it is up to you if you want to read it before or after seeing the film.

My rating: 09/10

A terrorist attack with a suicide bomber takes place in Tel Aviv, killing numerous children and leaving more crippled. Amin (Ali Suliman), an Arab distinguished surgeon, participates in the operations to save their lives. He learns subsequently that his wife, Siham (Reymond Amsalem), was considered to be the suicide bomber. Having lived for fifteen years with her, it is impossible to believe such an accusation, until he receives a letter by mail from her, sent just before the bombing, leaving no doubts about the fact.

Amin, shattered, launches on a quest to find the people who made his wife a suicide bomber. He goes to the city from where the letter was mailed, where his sister lives among his compatriots. The story reveals little by little a different world from the one Amin has in his daily life. A world where oppression is a daily fact, where resistance to it is everywhere present, where similar atrocities with suicide bombing take place from Israelis. A discussion with a priest linked to his wife’s death, reveals a vast difference in beliefs impossible to bridge. A discussion with a nephew of his, makes clear that his wife was indeed hiding the most important part of her life from him.

The first question is, how probable is to live with someone for fifteen years and not know his / her beliefs, let alone the probability of that person to commit an atrocity? The answer IMHO lies here in two facts:

  • How much does one really discuss with the person which is close to him/her? How important is to really know this person?
  • How much time one invests in real communication? Because if one is working like twelve or fourteen hours a day and then comes home dead to sleep, then fifteen years may well pass without really knowing who is next to you.

The second, most important question is about the chain of violence. We all have felt how even a small injustice makes us sad and angry. If this is scaled up to loss of lives and especially people we love, it probably becomes intolerable. It may be the point where the mind flips to the point of defying reason.

Because the real question here is, if violence will restore justice or will just cause more violence making a never-ending chain? A chain that will cause more sadness and anger among people. Reason says that violence is not a solution. It does not correct the injustice made. The real challenge is to stand above wrath and the urge of retaliation, to break the chain. Violence is never justified.

Killing children is another point raised in the film. First by one side, then by the other. This is beyond any comprehension. Humanity defying its own reason of existence.

Finally, a doctor saves lives, cares about life. Mentally sane doctors at least. When someone is daily close to the miracle called life, how easily can he/she waste it? I imagine that It should be very difficult. May be if we are taught what a doctor sees, may be will become more respectful of our life and the ones of others.

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