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“The Band’s Visit”

by Mizuho Aoki

Director: Eran Kolirin

Languages: English, Arabic and Hebrew

Winner of the grand prize at this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival, “The Band’s Visit” tells about an Egyptian police orchestra who travel to Israel to perform, only to find themselves stranded in the desert in the wrong town. With help from local cafe owner Dina (Ronit Elkabetz), the eight members, led by reserved conductor Tawfiq (in a subtly great performance by Sassy Gabai), settle down for the night. Some have an uncomfortable time at the house of an unfriendly family, while elsewhere a shy virgin boy is instructed in the ways of how to get a girl. Nothing much happens, but the tender exchanges are warm and touching.