The Band's Visit Review

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A brass band comprised totaly of members of Egypt's police force travel to inaugural ceremony of an Arab arts center in Israel to play the concert of their lives. However on arrival they find themselves lost in the streets of a foreign and unfamilliar city.


Charming audiences at festivals in Cannes, Toronto and London, this heartfelt, wry and decidedly spry film follows the exploits of an Egyptian police band marooned in an empty town in the Israeli desert.

The band must rely on the kindness of strangers, which allows first-time director Kolirin to unwrap the idiosyncrasies of human relationships. The focus falls on band-leader Tawfiq (Gabai) and Israeli bar-owner Dina (Elkabetz), the former characterised by dignity and restraint, the latter a provocative swagger.

Each gradually unpeels their emotional shield in the course of witty, almost comedic interplay peppered with both misunderstanding and sympathy.

A heartfelt, wry and decidedly spry film.