The Attack movie poster
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The Attack
The Attack movie poster

The Attack Movie Review

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You're a successful doctor. Your wife is a successful suicide bomber. That's a lot of dead air at the dinner table. The Attack is about a Palestinian doctor living in Tel Aviv whose comfortable life is turned upside down when authorities inform him that his wife is responsible for blowing several people up. He goes looking for the truth, and only discovers the brutal truth.

The Attack features a strong performance by Ali Suliman, who works off a well written screenplay by Joelle Touma and director Ziad Doueiri, who in turn are working from a novel by Yasmina Khadra. Suliman captures Amin's painful character arc with great nuance; his transformation from revered doctor to suspect to grieving husband in denial to a man just trying to understand why his wife would do such a thing is impressive.

The Attack plays like a mystery where the truth is revealed at the very beginning; the real mystery is not a whodunit, but a whydunit. I'm not entirely convinced that the film answers the why. I'm also not entirely convinced that most people, especially Americans - including me - could understand the why no matter what the filmmakers did.

Without being able to truly comprehend the why, I would have liked for the film to do a deeper analysis of how an affluent, intelligent woman would be driven to murdering dozens of people, including children. I get suicide bombing, but generally assume that uneducated people with nowhere else to turn are the most likely candidates; I still don't get why this particular woman would do such a thing, no matter how much she hates Israelis.

But I'm getting too much into the weeds. Is The Attack good? Yes. Does it get its point across? I'm not so sure.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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