Before I share with you a piece I wrote about this beautiful film, I want to share a bit of personal info. First, after watching Omar
in Cannes I had to take the rest of the day off. I bought a baguette, some cheese, dessert and locked myself in my hotel room, needing some time away from the world. To say that Omar
shattered me is not my typically dramatic style popping up. It's a film that made me rethink my role as a human being, made me realize why good people sometimes do very bad things. I looked back at examples in my life, and perhaps got them a bit more, forgave them a bit more. But most of all, I forgave myself for some of the things I'm not proud of in my life.
Secondly, the cast and filmmaker of Omar
made my trip to Cannes worth while. Their warmth is unequaled and even their families and friends surround them with kindness and respect. I'll always remember Adam Bakri's brother Saleh, waiting in line with all of us, in his tuxedo, to get in to see his brother's film. Priceless. So here's the HuffPost
piece. Make the best of it.
It is said that a great film should make you walk out of the cinema feeling like a better person. But with his latest oeuvre Omar
, Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad made me want to be
a better person.
also left me yearning for a world where I wouldn't form a preconceived opinion of a character based on his nationality, where neighbors would not be separated by walls built by governments and where the young and hopeful wouldn't be penalized for being what makes them perfectly human -- young and hopeful.
The most brilliant aspect of Abu-Assad's masterpiece -- a word thrown around a lot in conversations all around Cannes after its world premiere in the "Un Certain Regard" section, but also how Omar
star Adam Bakri perfectly sums up the film -- is the intentionally blurred line that divides good from evil, present within every richly constructed character in Abu-Assad's original story. While real life is always lived in varied shades of grey, I find most filmmakers shy away from the complex challenges constructing such human characters would create within a script...