Reza wrote:The Insult (Ziad Doueiri, 2017) 8/10
Powerful if heavy handed film, inspired by the Lebanese Civil War, speaks a universal truth about humans who, in the absence of a sense of closure, are unable to control their political hatred and prejudice which continues to grow and fester in their souls. The story, set in Beirut, could apply to any neighborhood of the globe dealing with prejudice and hatred. A minor altercation between two men - a Christian and a Palestinian refugee - escalates gradually from a single slur (the "insult") to a physical assault to more heated words involving racial prejudice which result in two heated court sessions. The matter then moves from physical skirmishes between people attending the trial to outright riots in the streets of Beirut. The high profile trial becomes less about the insult and bodily injury and more about a nation in the grip of a deep rooted morass gestating within like a festering wound which erupts time and again with violence. The film's pat ending may be too simplistic which implores to move on and find a way to make mutually respectable peace and not allow wounds to fester but it still manages to provide good drama and an important message nonetheless. The film also shows the positive and modern emergence of empowered womanhood in the mainly patriarchal Middle East. The film was nominated for an Oscar, the first from Lebanon.
Needless to say, the Americans on this board quickly rejected this movie and its subtle (though powerful) implications - but then I am not even sure they know where (or what) Lebanon is
They like Hereditary though