Nominated for best Foreign Film at this year's Academy Awards, this Lebanese film is a terrific and tense drama about how a war of words can easily escalate into something much worse.
An exchange of words between Yasser, a Palestinian construction foreman and Tony, a Lebanese Christian, over Tony's broken balcony drain lead to insults that escalate into physical violence, courtroom appearances and National attention.
Adel Karam plays Tony and Kamel El Basha plays Yasser and both men are excellent. Tony, with his short fuse and pride, stubbornly refuses to back down after Yasser's insult. He demands an apology but Yasser, who, in his quiet dignity, refuses feeling he is the one who should get an apology. In fear since he is the minority refuge, Yasser would prefer to say nothing as their argument ends in a courtroom that does nothing to resolve the issue and only make things worse.
The war of words that escalates is easily a universal situation but here is heightened by the social, religious and political background in Lebanon. As the tension mounts, there are surprises and hidden facts revealed. The complexity of Middle Eastern politics can be difficult for an American audience but this is a film with a message that is both thought provoking and entertaining. It certainly deserves it's Oscar nomination and very possibly a win.