'‘Alam’ Review: Coming of Age for a Teen Palestinian

of Age for a Teen Palestinian

Just like

the protagonist, the audience, too, receives a provocative civics lesson on the symbolism — and power —

”Alam” nabbed

three prizes, including best film and audience award, at the Cairo Film Festival

Although he

lives in an Arab village, Tamer is a Palestinian citizen of Israel, an identity fraught

Yet as

Safwat (Muhammad Abed Elrahman), one of Tamer’s classmates, dares to challenge their teacher’s

We watch

him assess the older men in his purview as if considering which, if any, of

Khoury’s convincing

and engaging screenplay perfectly captures teenage fearlessness and bravado along with a certain cluelessness

He shows

the existential contradictions of the teens’ lives in images as well as words

Indeed, as

makes sense for a movie whose title translates as “flag,” flags provide a flashpoint throughout

Blue and

white Israeli ones fly over all public buildings and spaces, including the school

Meanwhile, the

Palestinian tricolor stripe overlaid by a red triangle as well as the black flag signaling

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