Rock The Casbah (Rock Ba-Casba) (tbc)

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The ViewWellington Review

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Review byKatherine McLaughlin24/11/2013

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 93 mins

Rebellion, revolution and risk are explored in this tense and well observed drama set in 1989 during the first Intifada on the Gaza Strip.

What’s it all about?
Four inexperienced soldiers are positioned on the rooftop of a Palestinian family’s house after one of their team is killed on a routine patrol of the area. They are tasked with observation of the area from above until the culprits of the crime are found and punished, and so they spend their days getting increasingly frustrated in the blistering sunshine, with the family whose home they have invaded getting increasingly worried that they may be accused of being in collaboration with the army.

The Good
Horowitz handles this tense depiction of life on the Gaza strip with care. Patrols escalate out of control quickly with the population rebelling and the army taking extreme measures in the investigation of the death of a soldier. With the soldiers positioned above the village, you witness daily life, a woman hanging out her washing, kids playing on the street amidst all the turmoil and it’s very grounding.

The Great
Horowitz shows all the players in this piece as human beings who are torn between standing up for what they believe in and survival and that’s what makes it creep into your conscience. The terrifying ordeal of being blindfolded and lead to an unknown location (which we witness through one scared young man) simply because you have been accused of a crime provides high tension and thought provoking material. The rage, the hostility and the confusion are all perfectly portrayed.

The longer the soldiers are present the more enraged the community get in this war of boys against men. A mother holds her position in a deserted wasteland continually begging someone to tell her where her son is. No one answers her questions and there doesn’t seem to be an easy solution to any of the violence and conflict.

Worth seeing?
This politically charged piece is rousing, well thought out and unafraid to tackle contentious issues. Rock the Casbah is an illuminating and focused piece of film which boasts naturalistic performances and will leave you thinking long after you leave the cinema.

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Content updated: 20/03/2018 11:27

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