The Dupes, one of the first Arab films to address the Palestinian question, is a stark and stately black-and-white film that traces the destinies of three different men brought together by their dispossession, their despair, and their hope for a better future.
The time is the 1950s, the place is Iraq, and the protagonists are Palestinian refugees trying to cross the border into Kuwait concealed in the steel tank of a truck. Each one believes he can make a new life for himself, but as the film title suggests, their flight is no solution.
The story is based on the 1962 novella Men in the Sun by Palestinian writer, artist, and resistance leader Ghassan Kanafani, who was assassinated at age 36 with his young niece, presumably by the Israeli Mossad, in a car bombing in Beirut in 1972. —Boston Palestine Film Festival
In a career in cinema of more than forty years, Tawfik Saleh has made just seven feature films. Al-Mutamarridun (The Rebels, 1967) was banned for political reasons, and his last two films, al-Makhdu’un (The Dupes, 1972) and alAyyam al-Tawila (The Long Days, 1980), made in Syria and Iraq, have never been shown in Egypt.
In Saleh’s last year at university, Tawfik al-Hakim’s play, Russassa fil-Qalb (A Bullet in the Heart) was presented at the French Friendship Club in Alexandria. Saleh was asked to direct it just three days before its presentation. The French Cultural Attaché was impressed by Saleh’s direction and sent him to study theater in Paris for a year.
Saleh returned to Egypt soon after the Free Officers’ revolution, having actually studied cinema rather than theater. His first film, Darb al-Mahabil (Fools’ Alley, 1954) was influenced by al-Suq al-Sawda’ (The Black Market, 1943), which Saleh had seen being filmed by director Kamel al-Tilmissani during his first… read more
it also reminded me of benning's RR, with the placid surface and the hell/like innards of a machine. the way they die, in a concentration/camp/like manner, undressed and thrown on a pile of garbage, says a lot about those who brought on them such a death.
An intense trip. Funny, I kept thinking about Clouzot's 'The Wages of Fear'.
The primary story and the telling of it was superb, but I was just as taken with the inventive visual touches. This is a very impressive film, and it is a film that everyone should get a chance to see.
The Palestinian-themed film, DUPES (Al-makhdu’un), is a masterful story of victims searching desperately for a way to escape the cruel and pitiless results of losing their homeland. From a novel by… read review