The ‘Un Certain Regard’ section at Cannes often throws up some out-of-the-mainstream jewels, and director Hany Abu-Assad is hoping his ‘Omar’ will win honours for Palestine. It blends politics and romance, and has an undercurrent of political uprising and prison that its lead actor insists has nothing to do with the movie’s location.
“The fact that it is an international story, it happens in the West Bank but it doesn’t even say in the film that it happens in the West Bank. So everybody can identify with it. Everybody can really go with it. I think it has a very strong political message but it is underneath, it is not straightforward which I think is the genius of the film,” says Adam Bakri.
Director Hany Abu-Assad agrees with his leading man’s sentiment. He believes that the central theme in the movie is love.
“Love, I don’t know anybody in this world who didn’t enter the experience of being madly in love with someone. Me too. And I am always fascinated by how people lose themselves in this subject and how they become insecure. Actual insecurity is the reason why people are in love, but also why this love ends up very badly,” he said.
In 2006 Abu-Assad’s ‘Paradise Now’ won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign language film, and it received an Oscar-nomination in the same category. ‘Omar’ would like to do at least as well.