Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Dubai Film Festival

This could be a bit dull.. no pictures, no fun just three serious and long reviews of three serious documentaries. I got a sneaky press pass to the Film Fest so I realise that I should have tried to snog George Clooney or put my hand up Sharon Stone's skirt or whatever real journalists do but I'm not a real journalist!

So here we go.... mujahadeen, taxi drivers and hizbullah!

Jordan, USA, Germany & Netherlands/2007/Dir: Mahmoud al Massad

“This is our reality, you can’t deny it can you?”

Recycle tells the story or a former mujahadeen soldier Abu Ammar who is now collecting cardboard for recycling from the streets of Zarqa in Jordan. This job cannot sustain him, his two wives and eight children and a book he is writing about Islam doesn’t get anywhere. The only option seems to be to emigrate. The documentary reveals his struggle over this move and how the action of his own government ultimately forces him to make the decision.

Zarqa is also the home town of Abu Musab Al Zarqawi (Al Qaeda in Iraq) a fact that opens up some fascinating social and theological comment from Abu Ammar and his small group of friends. In one discussion the group try to find reasons for Zarqawi’s behaviour and point out that he led a life of drink, drugs and women in his 20s and was never seen in the mosque. They initially conclude that a dissolute life overturned by a personal religious re-evaluation with its accompanying zeal is the deadliest factor. However they also consider that radicals are more likely in a situation where men are unable to express themselves freely especially in an overlooked provincial town with few jobs or prospects.

Although this was certainly a critique of Jordanian government policy (or lack of it) this documentary was a vehicle for criticising more than national government. It was a critique of its neighbours (i.e Iraq), of US policy in the region and of the local unscrupulous making money out of the local unfortunate! Most interestingly it was a critique of radical Islam from the point of view of a conservative Muslim. In another discussion they essentially damn Bin Ladin for his arrogance in taking a decision like 9/11 without any theological basis or blessing and making life much more difficult for Muslims as a consequence.

This is interesting because it is the liberal Muslims who are most often heard public rejecting Islamic radicalism especially in the West. Arguably it is the conservatives rejecting the radical creed that will have a much greater effect on hearts and minds. In the eyes of many conservative Muslims the liberals have already gone way too far to have any credibility anyway!

In the Q and A at the end the director said that part of the reason he made this film was to demonstrate to a western audience that not all Muslims are terrorists. However, I don’t think it can work on this level for an average western audience. To understand much of this documentary you already need some prior knowledge of Islam, the region and its recent history. Furthermore, some of the ‘normal’ conservative Muslim sentiments expressed are already too far removed from what western ears want to hear. A good example of this is when Abu Ammar is truly struggling with his conscience as he considers the need to live in the land of the ‘infidel’ in order to provide for his family.

This move is forced upon him when the deadly bomb attacks on a Jordanian hotel in 2005 result in his arrest. On his release he concludes he will henceforth be one of the ‘usual suspects’ in the event of any further local terror attacks and it this which makes him leave. At the end of the documentary we see him heading to the US but in the Q and A the Director said that he was refused entry. He ended up in Venezuela along with many Iraqi refugees who have also been refused entry by the US. So perhaps Hugo Chavez does have foreign policy options other than Cuban buttlicking and insulting the Spanish!

Six Ordinary Stories
France & Syria/2007/Dir: Meyar Al Roumi

This documentary consisted of six short stories each based on a different Syrian taxi driver. Although each driver had a different story common themes started to emerge very quickly, one of which seems to be the parlous state of Syria’s economy. As a consequence more and more people are becoming taxi drivers often as a second job, in order to earn enough money to survive. The percentage drivers take is low which means that very long days are the norm and it is still difficult to support a family.

The first driver had been in the army for most of his life where he was responsible for vehicle battery maintenance. He was now driving because there seemed to be no such thing as an army pension although that was not exactly clear. Nevertheless his main criticism was that his health was deteriorating because of the toxic fumes and materials he came into contact with while in the army. He said that there were never any protective measure taken despite the fact that he was always asking his generals for gloves, masks and other safety equipment for those in the army that handled toxic substances.

The second taxi driver spent much of his screentime calculating the amounts he was earning that never added up to enough to support him and his family. He said it was impossible to get out of poor housing and accompanying health problems because landlords charge several months rent in advance which he can never hope to make. The very real fear of one of his children becoming sick, having to find hospital bills and then deal with the economic repercussions on the life of his family was also very clear. This expectation of having to pay for everything was made quite stark by another driver who was also a fireman. He said that there are countless times they have put out a fire or cut out someone from a car and been approached by an anxious family asking how much they need to pay. They don’t actually realise or expect that this service is free. He also made a comment about ‘civil servants’ who not only get paid a living wage but stop work at 2.00 in the afternoon as well. To him it was a crime that firemen and others who save lives and work all hours do not get paid a lot more but that is one of life's great mysteries wherever you live.

Another driver stood up very straight, stared intently into the camera and addressed his complaints directly to the ministry of transport. He went through a litany of accidents that could have been avoided simply by painting white lines on the roads, putting in cats eyes and just by some decent maintenance. He also talked about how Damascus had changed beyond recognition owing to intense construction. He said that there used to be many trees and green spaces that were the heart of the city but now the heart had been ripped out and replaced by concrete.

“The apricots of Damascus, we can’t find them anymore. There’s no control. It’s negligence”

Words in the Wake of War
Tunisia/2007/Dir: Anouar Brahem

Words in the Wake of War is the first documentary film directed by Tunisian musician Anour Brahem and consists of interviews with Lebanese artists and intellectuals about the impact of the Israel-Lebanon war of summer 2006. Most of the interviewees are friends of Anouar and in revealing how they had been affected personally, they also reveal much about the inner life of Lebanon. The interviews were spaced between different images, many of which were from the war itself with others used for historical or contextual reference. Other shots focussed on the stillness of the landscape or the ocean and accompanied by Brahems music, they provided short interludes of removal from the situation.

The necessity to disconnect from the situation was a theme that came up several times in the interviews. A singer and a dancer both said they assumed they would leave Lebanon in the event of another war but when the time came they could not actually bring themselves to do it. When the evacuation of foreigners was the main story on all the new programmes, one said she felt as if the Lebanese were being abandoned and left to die and for this reason alone she had to stay. The other concluded that having lived through war for most of her life she should be tough enough to live through another one.

Footage from 2006 of people wandering in rubble unable to identify where they were because no landmarks remained, led to a wider discussion of Beirut. One architect talked about Beirut’s history and identity and how much of both was shattered by the Lebanese civil war from 1975. For him a huge mistake was made after that war by focussing so much on rebuilding the city based on a past that could never be recaptured. Beirut was not the natural centre of Lebanon and was rebuilt at the expense of other parts of the country, the South in particular. In his view, this exacerbated the divide and made some of what has followed a historical inevitability.

One of the most interesting aspects of this documentary was how political allegiances shifted for many during the summer of 2006 and the consequences that remain. Some, whose intellectual and secular sensibilities put them in lifelong opposition to Hizbullah, found themselves on their side but via a shared cultural outrage. After the war some said that this feeling had made them stronger and more sure of their own singular identity as Lebanese. Others felt rather different with a sense that an internal contradiction had been created. There was almost a sense of being used with one poet saying that after the event when the connection ends you realise that “Hizbullah wants nothing from Lebanon. It will pursue its own revolution”.

Some were vehemently opposed to Hizbullah, blamed them and Iran completely and were in support of Israel throughout. However, after the event they too were left disturbed and disconnected because the degree of destruction wrought by Israel was so unjustifiable.

The documentary conveyed a sense that both the internal and external splits remain. There is also a sense of fear expressed disturbingly by one writer who said: “We must be ready for the resumption of war at any time”. An artist talked about how options were declining and that the 2006 war had not allowed for any third way resulting in new divisions often between friends that have also not recovered. In reference to wider issues one poet said: “The culture of death has taken over. Its like being in an ideological coma with no connection to the world. This struggle can only lead to a repeated cycle of trivial consequences.”

Rather than end on a grim Middle Eastern note let me say that the most innovative, positive and beautiful piece of filmmaking I have seen in millennia was Surya … makes me happy just thinking about it! I realise that this is a film festival in the Middle East and therefore Middle East filmmakers have to be promoted but Surya got my Gold Muhr Award! Haven’t had time to write about it yet but watch this space. Also to come ALL the Emirati voices!


  1. Hizbullah got their ASSES kicked by ISRAEL20 December 2007 at 09:18

    Why Hezbollah LOST the War in Lebanon!
    And the Current 'Present' Situation in Southern Lebanon

    By Gabriel al-Amin
    Beirut, Lebanon

    On July 12, 2006 Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers that led to Israel's war with them and, by extension, Lebanon itself. Hezbollah has been on Israel's fence since the latter's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000. Israel always requested from the international community and from the Lebanese government to deploy its Lebanese Army there instead of Hezbollah militants. Hezbollah, quite naturally, refused! Hezbollah vowed to NEVER allow any other force other than itself to occupy southern Lebanon. Even during the conflict, Hezbollah said it would never agree to allow either the Lebanese army nor international monitors to patrol southern Lebanon.

    Then finally, when two IDF (Israeli Defense Force) soldiers were kidnapped, Israel found the perfect excuse it was looking for to go into Lebanon and push Hezbollah well away from the Lebanese-Israel border. Israel pursued a limited invasion and killed over 500-600 Hezbollah members during the one month war. Additionally, Israel took over every single village in southern Lebanon. During the conflict even though Hezbollah received such a blow and all its members were freaked out and on the run. Yet when the hostilities ended, Hezbollah claimed victory! But did it really win?

    Firstly, Israel agreed to a cessation of hostilities NOT because it surrendered and defeated militarily, but because of international pressure from the European Union and the United States. During this conflict Israel endured more international pressure, than it ever did in the past 10 years. Israel was put forth conditions and international agreements, such as the deployment of 15,000 Lebanese soldiers and 15,000 United Nations peace keepers into southern Lebanon, and arms embargo on Hezbollah. "This" proposal which was presented to Israel which EVEN Hezbollah agreed to accept, was something Israel was yearning for for many decades and was a once in a life time opportunity, it was a REAL "golden opportunity," even the far right in Israel said "this is an excellent proposal, so give it a shot." This cessation of hostilities, known as "The August Ceasefire", was initiated by the United Nations and International Community, and was put forward before both parties, Israel and Hezbollah, Hezbollah JUMPED right on the wagon to accept, because they saw it as the only way out of the mess they got themselves into. While at the same time, Israel was more stubborn on accept this ceasefire-agreement, since they were on a winning streak. Ever since then Hezbollah has not been seen or heard from in Southern Lebanon! At long last the frail Lebanese Government has finally had a degree of sovereignty over all of its state and is finally monitoring and guarding its own borders.

    Not too long ago, nearly all television and print media images coming out of southern Lebanon were that of armed Hezbollah fighters with their guns, outposts, and banners. Not anymore! Hezbollah is now hiding under rocks in Southern Lebanon, its military might having received a substantial blow. In addition, Hezbollah is no longer enjoying the freedom and luxury of easily transferring Syrian/Iranian weaponry across the Lebanese-Syrian border or via the Beirut seaport. Much of this due to the combined efforts of a stronger Lebanese army and U.N. forces keeping a lid on such transferals.

    But even though the International Troops and the Lebanese Army keep Hezbollah in check, isn't there still Hezbollah presence in Southern Lebanon, EVEN THOUGH they are hiding "under rocks?" The same could be said for Al Qaeda presence in the United States, who are also hiding under rocks.

    Hezbollah may portray themselves as fearsome "militants" but they are in fact cowards cowering behind Lebanese civilians. Yet, through mostly pin-point targeting, the IDF dealt a heavy blow to Hezbollah. Five to six hundred Hezbollah terrorists were killed and nearly all of their bases, headquarters and tactical infrastructure destroyed.

    Some might say, "But didn’t Hezbollah manage to shoot over one hundred rockets into Israel every single day? AND why, during the war, didn't the Israel army/air-force ever manage to stop the Katyusha fire?" Well the answer to that would be "What's so impressive about groups of one or two rag heads pointing and setting off an unguided Katyusha southward into Israel?" In addition to the fact that Hezbollah only needed 1% of their military might in order to shoot Katyushas from their scattered fields and caves, into Israel every day. Plus, the only way to have completely stopped the Katyusha fire would have been to occupy every square inch of South Lebanon, including 20 miles north of the Litani, and to stay there for a few months.

    Israel 'BADLY' miscalculated Hezbollah, those past 6 years since it withdrew from Lebanon. Why? Because in 2004, it was estimated that if Israel was to engage in war with Hezbollah, their Katyusha arsenal would result in 100 deaths per day on the Israeli side, but instead only 2 people per day were killed by those rockets. But during the war, Israel came to the realization that 99.9% of all those rocket attacks, mostly result in a lot of noise and broken windows. Prior to the war it was also estimated that if Israel launched a ground invasion, it would result in the deaths of over 70 Israeli soldiers per day, which would have left over 2000 dead on the IDF side at the end of the 34 day conflict. But only 120 soldiers were killed in total, which makes it 3-4 soldiers per day. Also, prior to the war AND during the war, both the ‘poor’ Israeli intelligence and Hezbollah itself even claimed, that the “Mighty Hezbollah Rocket Arsenal” would hit Tel-Aviv, but ‘no rocket ever made it to Tel-Aviv!’ Instead, Hezbollah, tried to send little remote controlled ‘toy’ planes there.

    The reason 120 soldiers were killed in the first place, is because what would someone expect if an army deployed 30,000 soldiers squashed together in a small, tight, open space (South Lebanon)! It was amazing that after the war, those soldier didn't all suffer from cluster phobia. But even though Israel deployed so many soldiers in the open, Hezbollah didn't manage to deliver that harsh blow as was estimated before the ground invasion. But after all, Hezbollah didn't fight as courageous as the Egyptians during the Suez Canal invasion, nor as the Syrians during the war in the Golan heights.

    It shouldn’t shock the world that Hezbollah bombed a couple Israeli Merkava Tanks, because even the Palestinians have done it in the past too. Blowing up a Merkava Tank is NOT an ‘uncommon’ operation. But at the same time Israel was still advancing and still taking over every village in South Lebanon, bombing every headquarter and outpost, all Hezbollah members were on the run. Even though Israel lost a couple of tanks and didn’t destroy Hezbollah, it still doesn’t mean they (Israel) were defeated militarily. The definition of military defeat, mean: to crush the other side, force it to flee and or be on the run, or force it into surrender. Israel was not defeated militarily!

    The same can be said about the Israeli naval ship that was bombed by Hezbollah of the coast of Lebanon, during the first week of the conflict, which caused a tiny bit of damage to the ship and which resulted in the deaths of 4 Israeli naval soldiers. Once again this wasn’t a military defeat, but it was an internal flaw, which meant that; Israel needed a better anti missile naval detector radar, a better anti missile interceptor, and better armor for its ship. But did Hezbollah succeed in sinking the ship and destroying it completely, did they destroy all the Israeli naval ships of the Lebanon Coast, did Israel scurry away with all its ships with its tail in between its legs, or did Israel ask for a cease-fire? NO! Instead, Israel simultaneously the same day, brought the damaged ship back into Israel for repair and sent another ship to the Lebanon Coast to replace it.

    During and after the war, Hezbollah regretted starting the war in the first place, by kidnapped the two Israeli soldiers. But Israel on the other hand, didn’t regret going to war with Hezbollah, not even 1%. In fact Israel was ready to go for round two, but Hezbollah, will not dare even consider thinking about it.

    During the fighting, many people (both inside and outside Lebanon) finally saw Hezbollah as they really are... a terrorist group. It's strategy had little or no military value. The rockets they launched were intended to cause terror among Israel's citizenry. They were not aimed at Israel military targets.

    Israel never managed to destroy Hezbollah. As much as the IDF might have wanted to, the wiping out of Hezbollah was not Israel's goal. Nor could it ever be its goal. It is against the laws of physics to destroy a guerilla/terrorist group (America is learning it the hard way with Al Qaeda) since their operatives and members are always blending in and out of the civilian populations from which they so cowardly operate. In fact NEVER in history has a guerilla group ever been destroyed.

    Additionally, rescuing the kidnapped IDF soldiers without a strong intelligence as to exactly where they were hidden, would have been a nearly impossible mission.. assuming they had not already been secreted out of Lebanon into Syria or Iran!

    We constantly hear phrases such "Hezbollah emerged stronger," "Hezbollah is now stronger than ever," or "Hezbollah is now seen stronger than before!" There is some truth to that. Since before the Israeli withdrawal of 2000, Hezbollah was seen as more of a small arms, home made explosive, cut and run group, but during this conflict they were able to show off their Iranian made weapons. But they were no match for the Israeli army, whom they bowed down to at the end, by feeling too threatened to attack and provoke ever again.

    When the United Nations wanted to impose a 48-hour ceasefire, it was Hezbollah which rushed to accept while Israel had to be pressured. Obviously this was because Israel had the military momentum in her favor. And when the month-long conflict ended, Hezbollah leader, Nasrallah, remained in an underground bunker, no longer enjoying frequent visits to central Beirut, giving daily "Hate Israel" speeches, driving down to his home town of southern Lebanon or enjoying first class flights to Damascus and Tehran. Nasrallah even admitted that had he known that even one percent of this war would have gone as it had, he would have NEVER kidnapped the soldiers and thus started the war!

    "We did not think, even 1 percent, that the capture would lead to a war at this time and of this magnitude. You ask me, if I had known on July 11 ... that the operation would lead to such a war, would I do it? I say no, absolutely not.” - Hezbollah Leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, August 27, 2006

    In February 2007, there was a skirmish between Israeli troops and the Lebanese army on the Israel/Lebanon border, even though this skirmish that resulted in a shoot out and was unfortunate, the ray of light from all this, was that Israel was confronted and attacked by the Lebanese army and not by Hezbollah. This was one of the first signs that showed that the Lebanese army was doing its job. This was mostly due to the fact that Hezbollah lost its kingdom in Southern Lebanon, and is NOW in constant check by UNIFL, Lebanese Army, and International Troops. At least the Lebanese army was able to stand its ground and take control, unlike BEFORE the August 11 ceasefire! At least Israel finally got its wish, after 40 years, to FINALLY have the Lebanese army in control of the border. Since August 11, 2006 when the Lebanese army began its deployment in Southern Lebanon, not a single Katuysha, let alone a singe bullet was fired toward the Israeli side of the fence by Hezbollah. Unlike after the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, when Hezbollah would look for any excuse to shoot Katyushas into Israel at least once every three months, but not anymore. No longer will the Israeli citizens of Northern Israel will ever live in fear once again!

    People in the Lebanese Government now hate Hezbollah, for bringing destruction to Lebanon. All of Hezbollah's southern Beirut strong posts were destroyed by Israel. Even after the cease fire, Israel stayed in Lebanon for two more months in order to destroy all remaining Hezbollah outposts and bunkers while Hezbollah stood by and did nothing. During the conflict some of the Israel/Lebanon border fence was destroyed and torn down, and Israel was in no rush to fix it, since what's the point? Hezbollah will not want to mess with the IDF again! Even until today some of that fence has not been fixed yet, since the only threat of infiltration, now, is from drug dealers smuggling Hashish across that border.

    But what about the Winograd Commission, "which is an independent Israeli government-appointed commission of inquiry, chaired by retired Israeli chief judge Eliyahu Winograd, which is set out to investigate and draw lessons from the failures experienced by Israel during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict. Which resulted in a war panel, and even the resignation of high figures such as the Israeli chief of staff Dan Halutz." The reason THIS is currently taking place in Israel, is it goes to show that Israel is a democratic country! If a "Lebanese-Winograd Commission" would be done to Hezbollah; for launching an illogical irresponsible attack on Israel, by kidnapping the two soldiers which led to the war and the destruction of Lebanon. And if a Lebanese Winograd Commission would be done to the Lebanese government; for not controlling its southern border by allowing thuggish armed militias (Hezbollah) to roam free there, allowing illegal weapon shipments via the Lebanese seaport, air port, and Syrian Lebanese border to those armed "non-governmental" militias, and allowing Syria and Iran to meddle in its politics, then Lebanon would crumble to dust! But after all, Lebanon is not a Democracy.

    Worst case scenario, the Winograd Commission and some of the failures of this war, prove, that Israel might have been defeated from within, but not militarily.

    Furthermore there hasn't been one complaint filed against Hezbollah on behalf of UNIFL and the International Troops since last year's August cease-fire, the only complaint filed, was against the Israeli army for their over flights over Lebanese territory. Speaking about Israeli over flights, even the Israeli army itself, hasn't complained even once, about hostile enemy fire against its planes by Hezbollah. Since Israel withdrew from Lebanon in May 2000, up until the war last summer, they continued their daily over flight and breaches over Lebanese territory, only to find themselves being confronted by Hezbollah anti-aircraft artillery. But after the August cease-fire Israel 'STILL' continued its breaches over Lebanese airspace, but this time, Hezbollah hasn't even shot one pellet at them! Maybe because they are deterred and maybe because UNIFL and the Lebanese army are now in control.

    After the war, Hezbollah saw that it could no longer push around and bully Israel, and are therefore now trying to bully the "weak" Lebanese government by; their mass demonstration, camping out in front of the Lebanese Parliament, and political assassinations.

    Israel did loose the war last summer, but not in Lebanon, but instead in Gaza. After Gilad Shalit was kidnapped, Israel began a massive military campaign in Gaza, destroying infrastructure, entering towns and cities, going after terrorists, and also trying to stop the Qassam rocket fire. But instead, all it achieved was nothing, and the results of it were, that now, the Palestinians saw even more of a weakness in Israel. After the Israeli military campaign in Lebanon, deterrence was at least achieved, BUT unlike in Gaza, after the massive military campaign took place there (Gaza), the Israeli deterrence was lost for good, and now, the Palestinians are, even, more UNDETERRED from Israel that ever! And therefore have increase their rocket fire into Israel. In addition to the fact that as soon as Israel stopped its military campaign, Hamas and other groups said, "They are now even more determined than ever to kidnap another Israeli Soldier." In April of 2007, they acted on their promise, under the cover of intense rocket fire on the Israel town of Sderot, Hamas terrorists again attempted to infiltrate Israel in order to abduct another soldier, but failed. A month later the militant group Islamic Jihad successfully infiltrated Israel, to also try to kidnap an Israeli soldier, but also failed. At least they weren't afraid to try!

    After the war some Arab Governments, including the Palestinians, claimed Hezbollah achieved a divine victory! But hey, lets not forget, that some of those Arab governments and Palestinians which claimed Hezbollah won that "divine victory," are some of those "same" Arab governments who "STILL" until today claim that Syria, Egypt, and the rest of the Arab World won the 1967 War and the 1973 War! That is why after this war Israel lost its deterrence against the Palestinians, Iran, and Syria. BUT gained heavily, its deterrence, against Hezbollah.


    People from around the world, before the August cease-fire, would have never believed nor imagined that the Lebanese army would EVER be in control of its southern border. Nor, people would have never believed Lebanon would EVER be able to establish control over "illegal" arms shipments across its Lebanese/Syrian border, sea ports, and airports, and, well, it finally is!

    Hezbollah will most likely never dare kidnap IDF soldiers because they saw the might and strength of the Israeli army, and they now feel threatened. Sure, some Hezbollah sympathizers may throw rocks, wave Hezbollah flags or scream "Allah Akbar" at the Lebanese-Israeli border fence but Hezbollah rank and file are laying low. Very low! And Hezbollah is no longer the imminent threat at that very same border.

    Since the 'moment' the two soldiers were kidnapped and even during the war, Israel knew, they would not succeed in getting them back, in addition to the fact that destroying a guerilla group is against the laws of physics! Once people will get those two facts into their heads, then THEY will realize that, the outcomes that were achieved as a result of this conflict, were the best possible "REALISTIC" outcomes that Israel could have achieved.

    Obviously this past year, the Northern Israeli border has been the quietest it has ever been over the past 40 years.

    By, Gabriel al-Amin
    Beirut, Lebanon

    Articles and Refernces:

    UNIFL: Not 'ONE' complaint filed against Hezbollah since last years cease-fire
    (Jerusalem Post 6/14/2007)

    Again, Israeli gloom is misplaced (First Post - 4/17/2007)

    Lebanese army, UNIFIL are keeping Hezbollah in check (Haaretz - 2/21/2007)

    Hezbollah's 'Victory'? (Washington Post 9/1/2006)

    The Lebanese Winnograd Commission (Thomas Friedman, New York Times 5/10/2007)

    The Egyptian, 1973 October Victory (Egyptian State Information Service)

    Lebanon’s Army Chief “the Lebanese Army is properly controlling its borders with Syria” ( [Hizbollah’s Official Website])

  2. And you are... ??? Presumably you have no opinions of your own to offer which makes you a coward. Also the documentary was about something a little more profound than scoring cheap political points by contributing to my storage limit! This probably indicates you are stupid as well. Have a nice day!

  3. Ignore the proto-Zionist fellow travelling dick head and concentrate on the fact that these are very interesting and often well written reviews of obviously very interesting flicks. My only observation (or 2) would be that the shared anger felt by many Lebanese was more than a common "cultural" connection. Virtually all Lebanese feel Lebanese, not Shami or Greater Syrian, Ottoman or even Greater Israeli. That aside, excellent. Taxi drives are always fascinating arent they? Unless they're white trash in London that is. The "Recycle" review made me want to got to Zakhar, let alone see the film. Conservative Islamic clerics in Saudi have been encouraged over last 4 years to be very active in denouncing terror by the way, including those who have sympathised with Mr Bin L. before. Love and peace, Nik