Socialist Worker

Omar: Panic and paranoia rule on the streets of Palestine

by Adam Cochrane
Issue No. 2405

Omar, directed by Hany Abu-Assad, is out now

Omar, directed by Hany Abu-Assad, is out now


This love story, tense thriller, and political commentary by the acclaimed director of Paradise Now is set in the West Bank, Palestine.

Omar is a baker. He spends his days dreaming of marrying his girlfriend, Nadja, but at night is a Palestinian resistance fighter.

An Israeli solider is killed and Omar is arrested and jailed. 

After being tricked into a confession he agrees to work as an informant to secure his release. 

The brutal torture scene forms a crucial part of the film. It adds to the tension in the nailbiting chase scenes because we understand exactly what the protagonist is running from.

The chases also help to paint a powerful visual picture of the West Bank, as do Omar’s daily trips over the apartheid wall. 

But despite the tough subject matter the film is surprisingly funny, using a dark and dry humour throughout. 

Standout performances from Leem Lubany as Nadja and Adam Bakri as Omar make the love story particularly moving. 

The film has received critical acclaim including an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film this year and the Certain Regard award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. 

This film is a must watch if only for the fantastic twist at the end.

Omar is directed by Hany Abu-Assad. Out now.


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