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The East End Does Film: Inch’ Allah

HM's Alex gives us her must watch HOT picks from the EEFF 2013 roster, here's Inch'Allah.

Inch’ Allah is a peaceful film, which is ironic because it’s a film set in war torn Jerusalem.  What I mean is that the way this film is put together, the pace isn’t akin to something you’d get out of Hollywood, which it could easily have been.

Chloé is a young French-Canadian doctor helping Palestinian refugees in the West Bank clinic in Ramallah, by day and partying with her friend (and border control soldier) Ava, in her adopted home in Jerusalem at night.  What follows is the expected internal rift Chloé wrestles between as she grows close to one of her pregnant patients and gets intimate with said patients militant brother.

Aesthetically the quality is there; the premise can be forgiven for being done before, this is after all, based on real global situations, but the real problem lies in its execution.  What we get is an undeniably watchable film but one, on reflection, which only manages to scratch the surface of a complex present-day issue. What the film may have benefited from and what I suspect it wanted to do, is tell the stories of three young women separated by war, who would otherwise be friends. In fact they all were - its never really explained why the two natives, Rand and Ava, stopped talking, that part is obvious – what isn’t clear is why they made the choices they made.  The films saving grace comes in each of the cast’s performances. What is lacking in story is made up for in their ability to express more by saying very little. Évelyne Brochu as the lead, Chloé, is passive in her approach and never really carries the conviction of her counterparts but a part of me wants to believe that was the whole point. Chloé is a foreigner, probably a temporary one who has no real affiliation with the divide that has uprooted and killed so many on both sides.  Her silent wide-eyed expression is akin to a child, and as one character chastises her what business is it of hers to get involved anyway?

Words: Alex Kessie/@alexandrakessie • Images: Provided by EEFF

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