The Band’s Visit (2007) Movie Review: We are all the Same

The current refugee crisis caused due to Syrian conflict has been all over the news due to the chilling image which appeared across newspapers. While the blame game continues and some of the affluent Arab nations refuse to take refugees, other European nations are allowing 50 people in to their country. What emerges is the fact is, every human being wants a life of peace and a safe place where their kids could grow.

The Band's Visit PosterThe Band’s Visit is a slice of life film which follows Egyptian police band’s journey in to Israel. The 8 men police band is in Israel to perform at Arab Cultural Centre. Due to circumstances, they end up in a wrong town and are forced to spend the night in that small town.

If you are expecting this film to be one where in characters overcome obstacles and transform each other and become better human beings in a night, then you are wrong. The film instead is a reflection of life, everyone learns something about others and yet most of them remain the same.

Dina, a divorcee who runs a hotel arranges for their night stay. While Haled and Tafiq stay with her, as the night progress we know Tafiq and Dina might not have a future ahead, but they can have a great night to remember like they show us in movies. Dina even refers to this in her conversation with Tafiq that her life is like an Arab movie. Haled on the other hand ends upon an awkward double date with Papi, who works in Dina’s hotel.

As time passes by we get to know each characters more better, each with their own stories. Sometimes all it takes to solve the conflicts is human interaction, compassion and love.  The slice of life film may look like comedy, but it has a tinge of sadness of it. As human beings we are lonely, we are eager to communicate with other human beings via our culture, music, movies, and hopefully love.

The Band's Visit Still 1Most of the acting in the film is deliberately underplayed, which makes the film closer to reality. The film intelligently clears off the regular, usual narrative tropes and sticks to reality, which is what The Band’s Visit even more memorable.

Eran Kolirin makes a wonderful debut with The Band’s Visit which has been inspired by true incidents. Instead of focusing on politics, or cultural differences, Eran chooses to focus on humanity and how we are all the same, we may look different or talk a different language, but when someone bids us goodbye, no matter wherever you are, our heart still aches.

The Band’s Visit is highly recommended, do watch this one..


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