a lost band in a lost town

The Band’s Visit is about an Egyptian police band that travels to Israel to play at a new Arab arts centre. For whatever reason they don’t end up in the right place, but in a remote Israeli desert town.

We were looking forward to the film just because of the trailer [1]. The trailer shows the film to be warm, light, and humorous. And it is.

There is a stark contrast between the neat light blue uniformed stiff looking members of the band and the seemingly uninterested laid back town residents. It was almost as if the airport bus delivers such unusual travellers to the town with enough regularity for the residents to be bored.

The town residents appear wary and grudingly helpful toward the band, and the band members appear constrained either by language, culture, or uncertainty of their situation. Exchanges occur developing into giving and receiving from each other personal experiences and practical assistance. These are sometimes awkward, moving, humorous, or highlight an individual character’s life.

The time line of the film is a day and a night, but in no way does the film feel rushed. I felt almost as if I slowed to desert time to be an observer of people who are lost, some of which perhaps find a little of themselves in the exchange between each other.

[1] The official web site provides a synopsis, trailer, and music.

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