Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Patrick Bruel
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
On the streets of New York City in 1946, Jewish-American Bobby Goldman (JJ Feild) becomes best friends with Arab-Muslim Sa´d Chahine (Sa´d Taghmaoui). But when British-controlled Palestine erupts in war, these two intellig... more »
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"If I Forget Thee..."
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 04/16/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If I Forget Thee..."
1948 saw the creation of the State of Israel and there are many different views on the way it happened. The War of Independence is part of the memory of both the Israeli and Arab sides and being an Israeli citizen what I write here will without question be influenced by that fact. Subjective fact comes with existence. Also because of collective memories, "O Jerusalem" will be viewed by different people in different ways. Some will probably turn the film off halfway through and by that I mean extremists from both sides but this is not a one-sided account about how Israel was created and sitting through the film will give you information that will help you understand what is going on in the region today. Let me say from the beginning that the script is beautiful and it shows both triumph and tragedy.
Some claim that the film leans too heavily in favor of the Israelis but I feel that it is a balanced account. An Arab Palestinian and an Israeli Jew meet in the United States and become fast friends before the creation of the state. They both return to their motherlands in 1947 fully aware that a conflict is about to break and it will be a struggle about the land. It is against the story of these two men that the movie focuses. In the background is the story of British troops leaving Palestine and the United Nations vote on the partition of the area which brings about the State of Israel.
The film does not claim to be historically correct but it does portray the major events that happened during that period. This is a movie about love--the love between two friends; two human beings. It is also a story of choices--the choice of the Arab (Said) to let his friend, the Israeli, Bobby, die or save him. He made the right choice whereas others did not. We see the thin lines between right and wrong, hate and love, guilt and innocence.
Elie Chouraqui directed the film and there is some wonderful cinemaphotography and excellent acting. He based the film on the bestseller of the same name, written in 1972 by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre but used license to give us the background story of Said (Said Tagmaoui) and Bobby (J.J. Field). It is interesting that each of the men kills the other's people but never each others which I am sure means that peace and love is possible.
"O Jerusalem" is far from perfect but I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you have ever been to Israel, I believe you will too.
Mr. D. Beale | Australia | 05/30/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The DVD "O Jerusalem" was somewhat thrilling in the presentation of the drama of the diverse ethnic backgrounds being placed in the cauldron of intransigence in the midst of the evolution of modern Israel. Having also read the book of the same title, I can imagine the unsettling feelings of both sides. What was then the catastrophe of human hatred, was then after left unmended with both the characters suffering the death of loved ones. This is still sad as the unfolding episode as we see it still outworks itself far beyond numerous handshakes on the white house lawn and more people of ill will wanting to continue the hatred and violence. When will Jerusalem be more than a vision of peace and become a reality? This is the question posed."
M. Dillon | Minneapolis, MN United States | 10/19/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I thought that while the story was very compelling, the acting was pretty average at best, and awkward at times. It seemed more like a cheap, made for TV movie. I really expected to like it more than I did but just didn't find it very engaging."