Friday, February 17, 2023

ALAM (2022) Santa Barbara International FIlm Festival 2023

A young Tamer is a Palestinian Israeli who is typical teenager, trying to deal with school, parents and girls. When a beautiful new girl arrives he falls hopelessly in love...and becomes more politically awakened as his new love causes him to take a stand politically.

This is a wonderful mix of teen life and politics. Normally in similar films from Israel or its neighbors films like this lean heavily into to politics of the situation. The filmmakers want to make a political point and focus on that forget that the characters don't live in a vacuum. Here director Firas Khoury never lets us forget that while Tamer is growing politically aware he is also growing up as a human. He is still trying to  find his way and looking for guidance from the people in his life. Additionally he doesn't stop being himself. We are watching him become a man. It's a simple thing that many filmmakers forget to do. By giving us rounded characters from start to finish ALAM is a film that we love with our hearts and not just our heads.


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