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West Bank Brooklyn 2002
Description: Two Palestinian-American brothers living in Brooklyn search the living isn't simple when they run into issues trying to balance their religious beliefs with their Americanized lifestyles. The struggle becomes even more intense when tension starts to mount between Muslims and Jews in the brothers' neighborhood, mirroring the bloody, ongoing conflict back in Palestine.
Released: 07 Nov 2002 Director: Ghazi Albuliwi Writers: Ghazi Albuliwi Actors: Charles Daniel Sandoval, Bronson Picket, Bandar Albuliwi, Ghazi Albuliwi Genres: Drama
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West Bank Brooklyn Reviews:

I watched this movie at the AFI movie festival and found it to be nothing less than a gem of an indie film. The movie was shot before 9/11 in Fresh York Town which makes its message about growing up Muslim even more startling. The storyline centers on a Palestinian family living in an Arab neighborhood that runs through a Jewish neighborhood. Tensions start to rise throughout the movie when the main hero secretly takes a job working for a dying Jewish boy to pay for college while his older brother tries to hold a lid on a secret relationship with a anglo woman after he's given an arranged marriage by his father. Writer/director Ghazi Albuliwi plays a very funny hero called Saddam who decides to become Puerto Rican and renames himself "Tito" rather than be Arab/Muslim in public. The director is a twenty something guy and is someone to watch.


I saw this movie at IFP this fall, and was quite impressed with it as an independent first movie from its director. While parts of the movie receive bogged down by too much talk (using visual language and symbolism may have gotten some points across better than verbal discussion...almost lecture from the characters) overall I felt the performances from the actors were very powerful and their characters well drawn by the writer/director. Humanizing the portrayal of Palestinians as ordinary folks is a welcome subtext of the film.



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