Believing: Hany Abu-Assad's Omar Gets Standing Ovation in Cannes
It is said that a great film should make you walk out of the cinema feeling like a better person. But with his latest oeuvre Omar, Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad made me want to be a better person.
Omar also left me yearning for a world where I wouldn't form a preconceived opinion of a character based on his nationality, where neighbors would not be separated by walls built by governments and where the young and hopeful wouldn't be penalized for being what makes them perfectly human -- young and hopeful.
The most brilliant aspect of Abu-Assad's masterpiece -- a word thrown around a lot in conversations all around Cannes after its world premiere in the "Un Certain Regard" section, but also how Omar star Adam Bakri perfectly sums up the film -- is the intentionally blurred line that divides good from evil, present within every richly constructed character in Abu-Assad's original story. While real life is always lived in varied shades of grey, I find most filmmakers shy away from the complex challenges constructing such human characters would create within a script.