The Attack: An Upcoming Lebanese Movie From The Maker of “West Beirut”

The Attack Ziad Doueiri

Set for release in 2013 is a movie titled The Attack by Ziad Doueiri, the director who brought us “West Beirut,” arguably one of Lebanese cinema’s most critically acclaimed movies yet.

The Attack was already screened at the Toronto Film Festival where it was well received. The movie is based on the novel by Algerian writer Yasmina Khadra and this is an overview of the plot:

When a suicide bomber strikes at a Tel Aviv café, Dr. Amin Jaafari (Ali Suliman), a Palestinian citizen of Israel and a highly respected surgeon, treats the wounded victims of the blast at a nearby hospital — at least those who will let him, as some refuse to be attended to by a Palestinian. Jaafari is not unaccustomed to such affronts, but this dreadful day has a far ruder shock in store. Late that night, Jaafari is called back to the hospital to identify the body of the bomber: his wife.

In an instant, Jaafari’s comfortable life is shattered. Grief-stricken, wracked by guilt and tormented by his own incomprehension, the doctor embarks on a desperate journey to understand his wife’s motivations for her terrible act. Retracing his wife’s recent trip to the occupied West Bank, where she had claimed to be visiting relatives, Jaafari goes in search of the people who recruited her, a voyage fraught with danger and surprises. What begins as an investigation, however, gradually evolves into a painful and revealing self-reckoning, as Jaafari is forced to confront the sum of his own life’s choices and the shaky foundations of his overlapping identities: as a Palestinian, an Israeli citizen, a doctor, and a husband.

Adapted from the critically acclaimed novel by the pseudonymous Algerian writer Yasmina Khadra, the new film from director Ziad Doueiri (West Beirut) is both a psychological thriller and an incisive exploration of one of the most complex political-ideological issues of our time. Lucid, precise and fearless, The Attack foregoes sermonizing, simplification and manipulation to remind us of cinema’s ability to engage with a charged political reality, to undermine the stereotypes that help fuel it and reveal it in its full, tragic, human dimension.

The Attack is set for a May 1st, 2013 release in France. If the content is deemed acceptable by Lebanon’s censorship bureau, it should be released here soon after that as was the case with Where Do We Go Now. It has won the top jury prize at the Marrakech Film Festival as well as two prizes at the ARTE MARE film festival.

I personally think the plot sounds interesting and based on some reviews that I read, it seems the movie is not disappointing in content. I guess we can judge for ourselves in a few months.

This is Ziad Doueiri discussing the movie.

Let’s hope the fact that the movie is filmed in Israel doesn’t end up being overly problematic.


10 thoughts on “The Attack: An Upcoming Lebanese Movie From The Maker of “West Beirut”

  1. This looks promising, I hope you’ll be able to watch it in cinema. I’m sure both sides will conclude the movie is biased :-). Did you like the movie West Beirut? I watched this movie sometime ago, I believe it’s even on youtube. This guy is really sensible, but not in a naive way.

    If he’s willing to go and direct in Israel perhaps he could one day cooperate with Hiam Abbas.


    • I don’t know the technical aspects of it but seeing as he’s settled in the US, I would assume he has been naturalized. Americans get a separate short-term passport for their visits to Israel so he might have used that if he’s considering coming to Lebanon again.


      • Yes, but his name might be on a black list now. I knew him, and his wife quite well. They lived for some time in Mar Mikhael.
        Anyway, it’s quite daring on his part to even be in Israel. Hope doesn’t regret it later on.


  2. Pingback: Rejecting Ziad Doueiri’s The Attack | A Separate State of Mind | A Lebanese Blog

  3. Pingback: Ziad Doueiri’s “The Attack” Banned in Lebanon | A Separate State of Mind | A Lebanese Blog

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