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Bethlehem

“Using a similar plot, Yuval Adler’s debut feature Bethlehem and Hani Abu Assad’s Omar develop their details from different angles, but the films conclude on the same despairing note, underlining once again the hopelessness of the confrontation they deal with.
“Adler’s much slicker take looks like a politically correct, action-driven movie, which could efficiently portray the dramatic clashes inside any national security agency, wherever it may be, struggling to maintain law and order against rebellious factions fighting them.
“Adopting the perspective of the Israeli agency attempting to penetrate the Palestinian resistance movement in order to prevent further suicide bombings taking place under their nose, Adler’s script forces Razi, a Secret Service officer, to face his own personal duplicity when he pressures a Palestinian adolescent, Sanfur to cooperate with him, manipulating the boy into situations where he has no choice but to comply with the demands made on him and betray his own people. The main object of Razi’s operation is to capture Sanfur’s older brother, Ibrahim (Hisham Suleiman), the mastermind behind a series of deadly assaults on Israeli cities.
“Adler’s smooth, fast paced, smart approach offers, under the guise of a thriller, a morality tale strewn with victims but without any outright heroes or villains, though its distinct sympathies are in evidence all through. Shot and cut with surprising perspicacity for a first film, Adler’s film races on, deftly avoiding any political issues that may unsettle its straightforward course.”- Dan Fainaru, Screen Daily

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