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The Insult

(Lebanon with English subtitles). Yasser is a Palestinian refugee who works for a construction company. Tony is a Lebanese Christian who works as a car mechanic. One day, Yasser removes from Tony’s porch a drain pipe that is in violation of city code and installs a workaround. Tony sees that it is Yasser who fixed the drain and proceeds to smash the repair. What transpires is the substance of this film: What happens when angry words spiral out of control. Both men are stubborn, both men bring their histories, and both men are adamant that they are right. The film is timely and instructive.  It shows us, in a very well-acted story, the causes of anger and distrust embedded in a very divided and polarized context. While I couldn’t follow all of the historical nuances, it wasn’t necessary for extracting the key messages from the film. Big thumbs up – I think everyone can learn from this movie. The Insult is one of the Oscar nominees for Best Foreign Film, and it is my favorite so far of those that I have seen.

About Gary Burkholder

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