Following a trivial incident, a violent dispute occurs between a Christian from Lebanese origin and a Palestinian Muslim. Thus began a long trial in which Palestinians and Lebanese Christians compete to a national level.
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While the direction was unexceptional, the credible performances elevated a film trying to justify the acts of its characters through a chain of emotional states that relate to trauma, loss, rancor, prejudice, and violence.
In many respects an incredibly well-made film, THE INSULT suffers as drama from silliness, contrivance, and a noxious score. It is nonetheless fascinating and will probably work w/ non-cinephile types who are interested in seeing a topical movie every now and then. Though it can indeed be silly it is about some of the least silly things imaginable, not the least of which is history as web of intractable grievances.
The latest from director Ziad Doueiri (The Attack) drops us into Beirut where a simple argument about a drainpipe starts a rollercoaster of a tale that looks at the power of language, history, identity and male pride within the political context of Palestinian rights vs. right wing Christian belief. While not as powerful as the director's previous film it is just as thought provoking and wisely scripted.
[More like 3.5] Having the only big defect of being overly simple (not simplistic) and guiding the audience through music maybe just a little too much, there's nothing really wrong in this movie: sets the tone for its dual genre - emotional/political and legal drama - and the rhythm by keeping things simple and effective.