Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

More About The Band’s Visit

Chopstick Cinema

This Week's Film: The Band’s Visit
Cuisine: Israeli

The Band’s Visit is a small and simple story that takes place in the remote Israeli town of Beit Hatikva, where the Egyptian Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra has been stranded for the night when they get lost on their bus ride to play at the opening of an art center. As their evening in Beit Hatikva progresses, the band gets acquainted with the locals, and all concerned are affected in some special way.

Known in Israel as Bikur Ha-Tizmoret, The Band's Visit was written and directed by Eran Kolirin, whose previous experience is mainly in television. But it seems that Kolirin knocked one out of the park on his first foray in to feature-length cinema in 2007. But for the fact that more than half of the film’s dialogue is in English, The Band’s Visit would have been a contender for an Academy Award, and it went on to win awards at major film festivals all over the globe, including Israel, Cannes, Chicago, Copenhagen, Manila, Montreal, Munich, Tokyo, and Zurich.

The film’s stars, Sasson Gabai and Ronit Elkabetz, have extensive cinematic CVs, as do cinematographer Shai Goldman, and production designer Eitan Levi. And the musical score by Habib Shadah has received high praise as well. The Band’s Visit has a running time of 87 minutes, and was filmed on location in Israel’s Negev Desert.

My film review will be posted at the end of the week, along with my Israeli recipe.

For questions or comments send e-mail to cheiter at thingsasian dot com