“Omar” – A Pack of Liars

“Omar” – A Pack of Liars

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Depending on how you calculate it, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has simmered along, occasionally boiling over, for almost 30 years, or since before the mid-mark of the 20th century.

So it figures that a  movie whose story is set on both sides of the “Israeli West Bank barrier,” a 25-foot-plus high “security” wall, would focus on the region’s volatile politics.

And while the conflict serves as the backdrop for Omar, the official submission of Palestine to the 2014 Oscars in the best foreign language film category, it involves universal themes: Friendship, love, trust, and betrayal.

As the story unfolds, three young Palestinian men who have been friends since childhood plot and attack against the Israelis. The attack takes place, and the Israelis come after them.

You might think that the film will turn out to be a stereotypical action movie with lots of chase scenes and bullets flying around the heads of these three Palestinians as they try to evade capture. As you’ll see from this trailer, you’re partially correct.


But what the movie is really about is two “love triangles,” lies, and manipulation.

Tarek, the leader of the Palestinian trio, Omar, and Amjad are loving friends. But is each loyal to the other?

Then there’s Tarek’s younger sister, Nadia. Omar wants to marry her, but Amjad may have his eye on her as well. And which man does she truly love?

A character I call “The Israeli” is a puppet master who pulls strings that drag the Palestinians from one emotional extreme to another. Can any of them trust what he says, and can he trust what they tell him?

Every time you think you’ve unraveled the twists in the storyline, you’ll be carted off, confused, in another direction. It’s like a Gordian Knot that you’ll wish you had a sword to sever in order to stay a step ahead of the characters and not get lost along the way.

Try not to fixate on the actual geographic location, as it will divert your attention from what’s important about this film: How the characters relate to each other, moment to moment, as the fluid situation surrounding them changes.

An hour and half later when the movie, but not the story, comes to its climatic end, you’ll ask yourself this question: What made the lives of these people turn out as they did, and could they have done anything to avoid the outcome?

(Omar is available for instant viewing and on Blu-ray and DVD. Purchases made from Amazon.com through links on this page helps Tales Told From The Road continue to bring you a wide range of travel-related stories.)

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