Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Movie: "Laila's Birthday"

A lawyer, Abu Laila, returns to Ramallah but is forced to drive a taxi cab to make a living. The details build in this "day in the life" movie that shows the comic despair in a society where even the donkeys gone mad are forced to keep plodding along. Abu Laila's breakdown comes after a day that incudes witnessing a bombing, carrying an ex-prisoner and then a widow trying to decide whether to go first to the cemetary or hospital. But after he grabs a microphone and starts screaming at his own people, he too gets in his car and simply starts driving again. Director and writer Rashid Masharawi provides a subtle and perfectly timed ending. Unfortunately, I saw the film on the day it closed at the Museum of Modern Art; read the New York Times review here. Maybe it's available on Netflicks?

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