MIRAL

Pro Palestinians and pro Israelis unexpectedly united in their scorning of Julian Schnabel and Rula Jebreal’s Miral. The film which witnessed its U.S. release recently has been barraged with a myriad of reviews expressing distaste for a Palestinian narrative rendered ambiguous and tepid, to maximize Western audience appeal. Comparatively, many deemed the film biased, presenting Israel in a negative light without regard to the chronological sequence of the events that have taken place in the last 60 years or so. Regardless of where one falls on the issue, keep in mind that Miral is a story not a documentary. Further, why does every film that emerges as even remotely Palestinian have to account for an unmitigated incarnation for the plight of all Palestinians? On the other hand, to those who deemed the storyline barbaric in its depiction of Israelis, if memory fails to serve correctly, the state of Israel was not established on the romantic grounds we associate freedom and equality that perhaps The French Revolution is better suited for. Miral is good film with only a few underwhelming moments. Frida Pinto who plays the main character, no matter how beautiful and closely representative of Jebreal’s eye-appeal, feels out of place and even sometimes out of context. Her attempt to speak English with an Arabic accent comes off as extremely Indian. She is not as interesting as the other characters who seem to be on the periphery. Hind Al Husseini, Nadia (Miral’s mother) and even the Christian PLO activist she gets involved with, present a much more compelling narrative. Floundering throughout the film, Miral hardly breaks new ground. Nonetheless, she emulates the powerful themes of womenkind and education, which the film nurtures and Jebreal herself stands by. Schnabel’s modus operandi is unique, presenting a visually compelling film with a poetic musical score.

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