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The Lebanese film that was ‘too Israeli’ for the Oscars


In the middle of his shift as a surgeon at a central Tel Aviv hospital, Doctor Amin Jaafari hears an explosion and rushes outside. It is a suicide attack and, it turns out, his beloved wife Siham is among the fatalities.The plot thickens: In time, Jaafari discovers that she may not have been an innocent bystander.

Considering its heart-wrenching story line, the film “The Attack” could easily be an Israeli production. But it is based on a novel by Algerian author Mohammed Moulessehoul (under the pen name Yasmina Khadra), and it was written and directed by Lebanese filmmaker Ziad Doueiri. In fact, “The Attack” is a unique cinematographic cooperation between Israelis, Palestinians and Lebanese.

Released last year, “The Attack” received considerable critical acclaim, winning the Special Jury Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival 2012 in Spain and the Golden Star at Morocco’s Marrakesh Film Festival. It also garnered glowing reviews at the North American Toronto and Telluride film festivals…

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