I understand the feeling that this is a worthy film and one to watch re. Palestinian experiences BUT I don't think the film is worthy of the subject matter, OR that worthwhile as a film. Schnabel's films tend to be beautifully filmed and this is no exception. They also have brilliant soundtracks, as this film does. However, the film really lost its way. At the beginning we learn about how Hind Husseini rescued Palestinian orphans, which leads to her eventually opening up a school. THIS is where the story is. While the story focuses on Hind and Miral's auntie and mother there is fire and power in the film. Then Frieda Pinto turns up, as the adolescent Miral, and I think the passion really drains from the increasingly episodic narrative.
What really grates is that there are fine Arabic and Hebrew speaking actors in this film, especially Hiam Abbass,who are directed to randomly start speaking English, having begun a conversation speaking Arabic or Hebrew! Why not trust an audience, who choose to watch this film, to read subtitles throughout?
There is A LOT of exposition in this film to inform and educate us, at the expense of authentic exchange between characters. Would Miral really be so ignorant of what goes on in her country that she has to be told about the effects of Jewish settlers on Palestinian life and land? Bizarre.There are random, pointless scenes, like Miral meeting a journalist. This film is overlong; the screenplay really needed some pruning. It really felt as if it was talking down to its audience.
My hope is that someone will come along, if they haven't already (and please let me know if Arab filmmakers have been there already), to make a film honouring Hind Husseini's work.