Avanti Popolo

Israel's 1986 Oscar entry for Best Foreign Film set off a political furor when Cabinet Minister Ariel Sharon railed against it in the Knesset, calling it self-destructive. Two Egyptian soldiers, Haled (played by noted Palestinian actor Salim Daw) and Gassan (Suhel Hadad), are stranded in the Sinai desert at the end of the Six Day War in 1967. This compelling and comical saga follows these soldiers' attempts to find safety and water. The pair encounters Israelis on patrol, and Haled, who as a civilian's an actor, attempts a virtuoso performance of Shakespeare's Shylock in order to obtain the precious water: "I am a Jew! Hath not a Jew eyes?" to which the Israeli responds, "He's got his roles confused." But all the soldiers are equal victims of the politicians. Their journey together emphasizes human solidarity on the one hand and the irony of their situation on the other. The "enemies" stride across the sand singing "Avanti Popolo," an Italian revolutionary song whose words neither side understands. An intelligent and artistic satire on the absurdity of war.
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w/English Subtitle
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83