The Band’s Visit

Poster for The Band’s Visit

Spring 2008 Main series

Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 4:00pm
Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 7:00pm
Monday, May 12, 2008 at 7:00pm

Acadia Cinema's Al Whittle Theatre
450 Main Street, Wolfville, NS

Directed by Eran Kolirin

Screenplay by Eran Kolirin

Starring Sasson Gabai, Ronit Elkabetz, Saleh Bakri, and Khalifa Natour

Rated NR · 1h 27m
Israel / France / United States
Arabic, English, and Hebrew

View trailer

Israeli filmmaker Eran Kolirin’s debut feature, The Band’s Visit, is a subtle, heartfelt, and humane work that goes a long way toward dissolving the incredibly complex cultural divide that continues to plague the Middle East. When the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra flies from Egypt to Israel to perform at the opening of an Arab culture center, they are left stranded at the airport. Their leader, Tewfiq (Sasson Gabai), orders the handsome violinist, Khaled (Saleh Bakri), to solve their predicament, but it turns out that he’s gotten the wrong information. By that time, it’s too late. All eight members are left standing alone in a quiet desert town far from their intended destination with no way to get where they need to go. Tired, hungry, and confused, they find shelter at a restaurant run by the pretty but brash Dina (Ronit Elkabetz). It’s clear that Dina is bored with her lonely life, so she talks Tewfiq into letting the band stay over for the night: he and Khaled will stay with her, and the others will be put up at the home of Itzik (Rubi Moscovich). Over the course of the night, Tewfiq and Dina bond, Khaled helps a hapless local discover his inner Romeo, and the other band members find themselves caught up in a domestic situation that is less than perfect. Kolirin perfectly navigates his film’s slice-of-life tone, blending comedy and drama and poignancy without ever succumbing to one completely. In the wrong hands, this material could turn into a quirk-fest that parodies everyday life. Yet under Kolirin’s assured command, it becomes something that feels like life itself. The Band’s Visit is funny, lonely, inspiring, sad, and beautiful all at once.