Killer Movie Reviews

Making the world safe for filmgoers since 2002.

The Detention of Ziad Doueiri


Ziad Doueiri made one of my favorite films of the 2010s, THE ATTACK (2011), about an apolitical Arab doctor in Israel who finds himself suddenly the object of suspicion by his friends and colleagues when his wife becomes a suicide bomber. His new film, THE INSULT, the Lebanese-born filmmaker takes on a conflict rarely addressed in the West, the status of refugee Palestinians within the Arab world. In a masterful and gripping exercise in storytelling, it starts as a personal exchange between one of those refugees and a Lebanese Christian balloons into a national debate that echoes the still unresolved anguishes of the Lebanese Civil War forty years ago.  The film, out here in January, it’s Lebanon’s entry for the Oscar, and has made the short list for that category.

InsultPosterMore about THE INSULT, and my full interview with Doueiri, now an American citizen, here, but for now, an excerpt in which he tells me why he was recently detained by the Lebanese government over artistic decisions he had made for THE ATTACK, and expounds in no uncertain terms the influence of radical elements outside the Lebanese government that led to that detention, which he feels was a tactic to keep THE INSULT from being screened in Lebanon. As we close an eventful year in politics here in the United States, it’s good to be reminded what a precious, and fragile, gift freedom of expression truly is.

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