Just watched "For My Father" directed by Dror Zahavi. It is a somber Israeli-Palestinian love story, sad but beautiful. Tarek is a Palestinian soccer player - who in a macabre twist of logic - sets out to restore his father's reputation by becoming a suicide bomber. His father was suspected of being an informer because he got passes for his son to attend soccer training in Israel. So he was brutally beaten up by the Tanzim - the Palestinian militants.
Tarek, his son, crosses over into Tel Aviv but the bomb fails to explode due to a faulty timer.
Warning Spoiler Ahead!
Tarek finds an eccentric electrician, Katz whose son was killed in the Army, to repair the timer. Then he meets and falls in love with Keren a girl who is hiding from the Orthodox Jews who are outraged at her piercings, dress and out-of-wedlock pregnancy. She is also hiding from God whom she believes made her have a miscarriage. Tarek helps all of them and all of them help him in turn. But he cannot escape from the militants who have rigged him with a cell phone that can be manually activated to explode his bomb jacket if he loses his will. It is booby trapped so he cannot take it off and is given a cell phone to remain in contact with them.
Tarek spends the night at the beach with Keren. Surprisingly uncharacteristic for an Israeli movie, there is no sex - perhaps because removing the bomb jacket would have reduced the film to a farce! The militants call him and he is ordered to stand at the entrance of the market at Carmel and explode his bomb the next day. Tarek's dilemma is that he does not want to harm anyone yet has to redeem his father. So he finds a deserted spot and is about to explode it when Katz walks up to him and refuses to leave him. Meanwhile the police are onto him and sharpshooters ring the rooftops. Katz persuades Tarek to give it up and come with him when a sharpshooter shoots Tarek. The bomb explodes, killing him. Strangely enough, no one is killed - there are no shrapnel injuries. The scene cuts to Keren who is sleeping on the beach. She wakes up to find Tarek gone and a bag of nails nearby. Tarek had remove the shrapnel so no one else would be hurt.
This was a fine movie which humanized at least a few suicide bombers.
The jewish actor who played Katz lost his own son to a suicide bomber in real life.
This was a birthday treat!
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