A Bottle in the Gaza Sea DVD Review
A Bottle in the
is one of the best independent films I have seen all year. Released in
the French production addresses the conflict between Israelis and
in a real, profound, and incredibly moving way - with a story that
to unite people together. This film is remarkably brave, original, and
well-made and it is an overlooked gem of world cinema worth sharing
film's core storytelling revolves around two young people from
backgrounds who are brought together with a long-distance friendship
helps to shape and transform their lives. Tal
(Agathe Bonitzer) is a 17 year old Israeli
girl who moved away from France, along with her family, to Jerusalem.
attends school and in a state of dread with regular bombings
daily life. Her family tries to live as best they can, but the war
refuses to accept that hatred and war somehow must exists between
Palestinians. She writes a letter filled with her own hope and
feelings that hate is something that should not have to be the only way
Israelis and Palestinians, slips the letter into a bottle, and sends it
travel across the sea. The bottle finds its way to Gaza, and is read by
group of Palestinian friends, one of whom is Naim (Mahmud Shalaby), a
old boy who becomes interested in the letter and sends a sarcastic
reply to Tal
using her mentioned e-mail address.
isn't long before what begins as a sarcastic and uncaring response to a
felt letter turns around and becomes a long-distance friendship; a
Tal and Naim grow to care for one another as people. The exchanges
and more frequent and the discussions range from philosophical to
even friendly conversational. At the same time, Naim struggles to
friendship with Tal after a horrific moment in a bombing changes his
Meanwhile, Tal desires to continue their friendship, and doesn't give
up on the
two of them even despite some fellow naysayers who fail to completely
understand where she is coming from: the friendship means a great deal
both, but can the pair make sense of the world surrounding them and the
of conflict they both disapprove of and desire to change?
film is written by Thierry Binisti and Valerie Zenatti, and Binisi
production is a French/Israeli co-production. I am astonished by the
filmmaking. A Bottle in the Gaza Sea
is one of the best films I have seen all year, independent or
film takes a difficult subject matter and handles it incredibly well,
manages to do so by remembering to focus first and foremost on the
in the story, who are drawn to one another despite established feuds
no real role in their awareness or knowledge of each other.
performances were amazing. I was engrossed by the characters and felt
they were truly becoming close friends. The script worked in perfect
with the performances as the words would flow seamlessly, beautifully,
transcendently. Agathe Bonitzer and Mahmud Shalaby are exceptional and
wouldn't work anywhere near the level on which it does without the two
offering their best with the film.
directing was somewhat reminiscent of a documentary film approach,
sense given Binistri's background in making an incredible amount of
documentaries. The approach works remarkably well throughout the film.
artistic style utilized certainly was something that benefited the
film's approach, which feels authentic and creatively rich.
was deeply moved by A Bottle in the Gaza
Sea and I found the film to be one which was an undeniably
attempt at making an intelligent, emotionally resonant, and important
an equally worthwhile film. Based upon a award winning novel written by
Zennat, the film explores the conflict between Palestinians and
Israelis in a
genuine way that should encourage discussion.
film is one of the best examples around of how a film can explore these
of issues in a multicultural approach and be both entertaining and
insight for audiences of all walks in life. The film won the Best Film award at the Festival of Young
Filmmakers at Saint Jean De Luz, which is an award it is certainly
of, for it is exceptional in virtually every way. Audiences
should embrace cinematic journeys of
such worth and need. This is indeed a great cinematic achievement that
accolades of praise, both for its exceptional qualities in filmmaking
and for the
powerful message of love and friendship crossing across all barriers;
immense obstacles and conflicts.
Bottle in the
Gaza Sea is
presented by Film Movement on DVD with a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen
presentation which preserves the original theatrical exhibition. The
an impressive and notable presentation of the film, with good detail
clarity. The film has a filmic look with good grain levels and a
palette which complements the whole production. Laurent Brunet offers
exceptional cinematography which capably helps enhance everything about
film's intended look.
film is presented with both 2.0
and 5.1 sound mixes. The 5.1 sound mix is nothing that exceptional, but
offer great ambiance and a slightly more enveloping experience. It
works best with regards to presenting the music score by Benoit
is absolutely lovely and dramatically involving. The dialogue is clear
main extra is the selected short
film by Film Movement. The short, entitled An
Oasis on the Hill, is an exceptional 10 minute long documentary
an Israeli village in which Jews and Arabs get along together and grow
up in a
peaceful environment. The waiting list to even possibly move into this
is substantially long, showing a level of demand and interest amongst
who want to raise children in a peaceful and compassionate environment.
Bottle in the Gaza Sea is
one of the best foreign
language films to be released this year, and it deserves an audience.
taps into the conflict of Israeli and Palestinian people by being
reminding us that sometimes we tend to forget why our conflicts even
elements capable of tearing people apart, but that overlook the basic
value humans share of longing for connection with one another -- and
this is precisely
why the filmmakers of A Bottle in the
Gaza Sea have made such a remarkable
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.