Film Review: Humankind Gets a Necessary Lesson in ‘The Insult’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – The clash of ideologies or religion that result in war is one of the most emotional of reasons to fight (and convenient for those who manipulate such emotions). “The Insult,” a contender for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars, shows how feelings can escalate to bitter conflict.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

The film is set in Beirut, Lebanon, that is building towards a safe harbor for their citizens in a post-war era… especially the Palestinian refugees. But this is not without consequence, and it’s illustrated through a confrontation between a Christian Party mechanic and a Palestinian construction worker. What starts as an exchange of misunderstood insults, becomes a trial of the century, and a powder keg with a burning fuse for the broader opposing factions in Lebanon. Exquisitely acted and highly moral, the film creates human representatives for long-simmering resentments, and holds up that humanity to the light.

Tony Hanna (Adel Karam) is a car mechanic in Beirut, Lebanon, who has never been happier. His wife Shirine (Rita Hayek) is expecting a child, and his domestic situation has never been calmer. He is watering the plants on his balcony when his broken gutter pipe pours water on a construction worker named Yasser (Kamel El Basha). Yasser is responsible for fixing it, and proceeds to do so without Tony’s permission.

This causes Tony to snap and destroy the pipe, which causes Yasser to hurl a harsh insult. Tony demands an apology through a mutual friend, and the two men confront each other again, only to have Tony hurl an insult towards Yasser, one that motivates Yasser to punch Tony. When the details of this encounter becomes public knowledge in a court trial, the side representing Tony (Christian Party anti-immigrants) and the side representing Yasser (Palestinians) also begin to escalate emotionally, which could lead to greater conflict.

”The Insult” continues its limited release in Chicago (Arclight Chicago and Landmark Century Centre Cinema) on February 2nd. See local listings for other theaters and show times. Featuring Adel Karam, Kamel El Basha, Rita Hayek, Camille Salameh and Diamand Bou Abboud. Written by Ziad Doueirir and Joelle Touma). Directed by Ziad Doueiri. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Insult”

Insult1
Tony Hanna (Adel Karam) in ‘The Insult’
Photo credit: Cohen Media Group

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Insult”

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