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The Band's Visit review

The band in question is the Alexandria Ceremonial Police group, pitching up in Israel to perform at an Arab cultural centre. Immaculately attired, these Egyptian musicians find themselves stranded in the wrong town, where their upright conductor Tawfiq (Sasson Gabai) nervously accepts an offer from café owner Dina (Ronit Elkabetz) to put him and the chaps up for a night. Out of this scenario writer/director Eran Kolirin fashions a melancholy comedy in which the sound of music transcends national boundaries. The Band’s Visit could easily have become a clunky message movie, but Kolirin maintains a sure-handed balance of humour and heartache.

 

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