It’s no surprise why director Ziad Doueiri’s film The Insult was nominated for Best Foreign Film at this year’s Oscars. The film follows Tony, played by Adel Karam, who is a Lebanese Christian and Yasser, played by Kamel El Basha, a Palestinian refugee. The pair meet when Yasser tries to repair a drainpipe on Tony’s balcony and the conversation goes south. The dispute between these two characters is tense and often inflated by their masculinity.
This civilian dispute leads to a court case that garners national attention and is only further aided by the traumatic experiences that both characters witnessed as youth. The films screenplay by Ziad Doueiri and Joelle Touma is extremely insightful and helps inform an audience who perhaps doesn’t fully understand the current state of life for people living in Lebanon. It addresses issues such as free speech and hate crimes, while allowing the audience to make up their own mind. This is perhaps what makes the film so special, it presents the audience with information and skips holding our hand and trying to lead us to a conclusion or to side with a particular opinion.
Even though courtroom drama tends to be a little over-rated in films, this movie does a fantastic job of making the courtroom scenes intriguing and filled with suspense. This emotion-driven film is definitely a must-see.