Salt Of This Sea - Movies Review

Published: 25 April, 2009 07:43 IST | Bryan Durham |

Suheir Hammad, who plays the often outspoken Soraya in this Annemarie Jacir film, is a poet and close friend of the director.

Suheir Hammad, who plays the often outspoken Soraya in this Annemarie Jacir film, is a poet and close friend of the director.
 
She was reluctant to take up the role insisting she wasn't "an actress" but relented because she found several similarities between Soraya and her and so wouldn't "really be acting".

One doesn't really share Jacir's optimism. While Saleh Bakri who plays Soraya's lover, Emad has acting pedigree, Hammad's inexperience shows all too clearly.



Also, it doesn't help at all that the writer-director has made her protagonist a stubborn (often irritatingly so) woman who lands up in Palestine to lay claim to her grandfather's money only to find that bureaucracy and general complacency has ensured that it's gone without a trace. The money isn't really much and the account was 48 years old.

Jacir builds conflict quite interestingly. Emad, who hasn't left "this ****** country for 17 years now" wants to go to Canada while Soraya wants to discover her roots despite the humiliation of being told she belongs to a place that doesn't exist anymore. She doesn't want to leave her Palestine.

Soraya doesn't really hold your attention and it's only because her anger seems unwarranted and quite unnecessary, given that she has never been 'home' before.

You sympathise with the average Palestinian's lot, and only because this film simply makes you aware of what they're being put through by shooting on location, even in difficult situations.
 
Too self-indulgent for its own good, Salt... makes for just-about-okay viewing.

Salt Of This Sea

DIR: Annemarie Jacir
LABEL: Excel Home Video
PRICE: Rs 399
REGION: 5
**

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