JUST. WATCH. IT!
Says IMDb, with an overall score of 7.4/10:
A musical comedy set in the fast-paced, fast-food world of competing falafel stands on the West Bank. David, an Israeli soldier, falls in love with Fatima, a beautiful Palestinian cashier, despite the animosity between their families’ dueling restaurants. Can the couple’s love withstand a 58-year-old conflict and their families’ desire to control the future of the chick pea in the Middle East?
West Bank Story is a comedy/musicalshort film, directed by Ari Sandel, co-written by Sandel and Kim Ray, produced by Pascal Vaguelsy, Amy Kim, Ashley Jordan, Ravi Malhotra, Bill Boland, and featuring choreography by Ramon Del Barrio. The film is a parody of the classic musical film West Side Story, which in turn is an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. The film follows the romance between the relatives of the owners of rival falafel restaurants, one Israeli and the other Palestinian, respectively named the “Kosher King” and the “Hummus Hut,” in the West Bank. The film stars Ben Newmark as the IDF soldier, Noureen DeWulf as the Palestinian cashier, A.J. Tannen as the Israeli restaurant owner, and Joey Naber as his Palestinian rival.
Filmed on a Santa Clarita, California ranch, the short premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, and was screened at numerous additional film festivals across the world, garnering several awards. In 2007, at the 79th Academy Awards, it won the Oscar in the category Best Live Action Short Film.
Say I: a truly super fun take on something that is otherwise not fun at all. I’m not sure if Israelis or Palestinians would enjoy watching this short film, but I’d be surprised if anybody else didn’t. Personally, they had me at the hats! I was sad to find out that it is all in English (I actually bought the DVD in a Jordanian shop while searching for Arabic-speaking movies!!) but it was still worth buying. Oh, great acting – love the faces 😉