1 hour, 29 minutes
PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.
for brief strong language.
Sasson Gabai ... Lieutenant-colonel Tawfiq Zacharya
Ronit Elkabetz ... Dina
Saleh Bakri ... Haled
Khalifa Natour ... Simon
The members of Egypt's Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra have just arrived at an airport in Israel, and find themselves surrounded by signs that are not translated into Arabic. Standing in their parrot blue uniforms, they're unsure how to get to the small town where they're scheduled to perform at the opening of a new Arab Cultural Center. Their gruff bandleader Tawfiq (Sasson Gabai) sends handsome, flirtatious Khaled (Saleh Bakri) to find out what bus they should take to reach their concert. Khaled comes back with directions, after first trying to pick up a girl at the ticket booth, but they are on the wrong bus, and end up stranded in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by aging concrete apartment buildings in an isolated Israeli desert outpost. There are no more buses that day, but diner owner Dina (Ronit Elkabetz) convinces some of her customers to put the band members up for the night. Clarinetist Simon (Khalifa Natour) and a few others go home with sad-sack Itzik (Rubi Moskovitz), while Dina takes Tawfiq and Khaled home with her.
During the course of the evening, unexpected bonding occurs. The outgoing Dina takes reserved Tewfiq out to dinner and this most conservative of men and most free-spirited of women discover a common ground as well as a genuine attraction. Simon and Itzik discuss unfulfilled dreams, but find themselves in the middle of a family dispute and unable to do anything about it. Khaled accompanies Papi (Shlomi Avraham), Dina's socially awkward young assistant, on his blind date to a roller disco, offering him some helpful advice along the way.
By the next morning, they've all come to understand each other, and themselves, a bit better, and we sense that the hostility the two ï¿½sidesï¿½ are supposed to feel toward one another has been lessened, if not entirely erased. Underlying it all is the tension inherent in the Arab/Israeli conflict, and fear engendered by 50 years of continued violence. But the film is subtle, as is director Eran Kolirin's whole approach. There is not a heavy-handed moment in this sweet movie which presents a hopeful look at both sides and reveals a humanity deep within each of the diverse characters. This is a small movie, but it is an irresistible gem.