a different side of Israel

A new Israeli comedy about suicide bombers?

The Tel Aviv Cinematheque is showing a new 30-minute comedy called Bombshell about a young Arab female suicide bomber who fails in her terrorist attack.

BombshellThis is a story of a young female terrorist who plans to blow herself up on an Israeli bus. Her plan takes an unsuspected turn when she is running late and misses the bus. Meanwhile another woman, an Israeli, is on her way to a Leftists’ protest. Her name is Gali Fahima- a parody of Tali Fahima, a radical left-wing activist who has been accused of aiding a well-known terrorist leader Zakaria Zubeidi.

Terrorism and comedy – sounds like a paradox? Not to the creator of the film, Atar Offek: “A good satire, as I intended to make it, does not make fun at the expense of the weak ones but at the expense of the powerful forces in society.” “So here, too, the movie does not ridicule terror victims, it ridicules the terrorists and the (Israeli) army,” says Offek.

The movie satirizes the two sides of the conflict- Jews and Arabs who are both depicted as comical and absurd. The movie trailer introduces the audience to the “IDF absurd theater,” showing a Hamas woman with a gun who tells the viewers: “whoever doesn’t come to watch me is a smoked egg.”

This black comedy offers a different perspective on widely debated Jewish-Arab conflict. The relatively quiet period of the last four years has allowed this movie to pass under the sensitivity radar without raising too much public objection. Yet it managed to invoke considerable attention with its provocative outlook. But will people actually buy tickets to watch it?

Many Israelis look for escapism while others might not be so open to humoring this sensitive subject. An important quality of humor in our lives is that it acts as a great equalizer between people of different groups by bringing them to the same level of entertainment for the masses. Perhaps this is the recipe for making the enemy more of a human being and for normalizing life in the shadows of a violent conflict. After all, the basis of comedy is people and their human faults.

Tacking such a sensitive issue with black humor may seem out of line. But what is the purpose of art if not to provoke, shock and give a unique and unexpected perspective on life? The view taken in this film offers an attitude we may consider adopting though perhaps not to such a radical extent – despite the harsh reality we live in we should not loose sight of our humanity and our brilliant ability to make silly mistakes.

1 Comment

  1. Tali Fahima wasn’t only accused of helping a terrorist – she admitted it, was convicted in a court and went to prison for it.

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