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Staff Pick: Michael Archer

michael_archer-small.jpg Jeannette Catsoulis, in The New York Times, wrote that Israeli director Eylan Fox’s The Bubble, set in Tel Aviv, vacillates “provocatively between romantic comedy and political tragedy. ” Though the review is very positive, had I read it, that line in particular, before seeing the film, I likely would have left it on the shelf of the Oxnard Blockbuster. Romantic comedy/political thriller set in Tel Aviv? That’s the kind of ambition that can ruin a Sunday night on the couch, especially now that the NBA playoffs are over.

But Fox pulls it off. What makes the film worth watching is the way it exposes the complex lives and realities of Palestinians and Israelis and makes us pose questions about our own humanity. The Bubble, a term used to describe the city where numerous Israelis come after serving in the army, is a love story between a Palestinian and an Israeli reserve, who meet at a checkpoint, and the lives of their twentysomething friends. Through the characters, we view the constant struggle war-torn societies face between the personal and the political, and the desire to escape and confront truth. The film is absorbing and frustrating and Fox manages to encourage us to reflect on engagement, awareness, change, and co-existence.

Bio: Michael Archer is a founding editor of Guernica. His “interview with Wuer Kaixi”: appeared in Guernica’s June 2009 issue. Read the follow up to the article “here”:

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