The Band's Visit 2008 PG-13 CC

Amazon Instant Video

(76) IMDb 7.6/10
Available in HD

A brass band comprised of members of the Egyptian police force head to Israel to play at the inaugural ceremony of an Arab arts center. But due to bureaucracy, bad luck, or for whatever reason, find themselves stranded in a desolate, almost forgotten, small Israeli town, somewhere in the heart of the desert.

Ronit Elkabetz, Sasson Gabai
1 hour 28 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

The Band's Visit

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Music, Comedy
Director Eran Kolirin
Starring Ronit Elkabetz, Sasson Gabai
Supporting actors Saleh Bakri, Khalifa Natour, Rubi Moskovitz, Uri Gavriel, Imad Jabarin, Hilla Sarjon, Shlomi Avraham, Tarik Kopty, Rinat Matatov, Tomer Yosef, Ahuva Keren, François Khell, Hisham Khoury, Eyad Sheety
Studio Sony Pictures Classics
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

It's very subtly expressed and depends on an insider's understanding of Israeli society.
This is a very deliberate, quiet film -- some may find the pacing a bit glacial, but it certainly pays of in the end.
DJ Joe Sixpack
The acting is very good in The Band's Visit, and there are touching moments as well as funny ones.
Some Fellow

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 11, 2008
Format: DVD
'It's the wrong time and the wrong place...' - there are so many excerpts of songs quoted in this movie and ones that stimulate memories of old songs that are very much in keeping with the title and the story, THE BAND'S VISIT (BIKUR HA-TIZMORET). A timely piece, this little film is about humanity and the possibility of communication by various means that overcome differences between cultures far better than treaties, summit meetings, and physical and verbal demonstrations. It is a thoughtful, engaging, and completely delightful success.

The Alexandria Police Ceremonial Orchestra with 'General' Tewfiq (Sasson Gabai) rigidly in charge provides music for occasions, and the particular occasion for this venture is a ceremony in Israel. Flying in from Egypt well dressed in light blue uniforms to perform for the new Arab Culture Center, the small band is not met as expected at the airport. Tewfiq attempts to resolve the lack of proper greeting and transportation by reserving space on a bus - a trip that mistakenly (through problems originating in language confusion) results in the band being dropped off in a small village Bet Hatikva. Frustrated with circumstances, the band is met with genial hospitality by café owner Dina (Ronit Elkabetz) who not only feeds them but puts the small band up for the evening. Dina has eyes for Tewfig and plans an evening out on the town with him - an evening that has its own surprises as each lonely person shares life circumstances. The other members of the band are placed in lodging with Dina's workers and at a dinner party discover similarities in their lives.
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Format: DVD
The Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra gets lost in Israel. After taking a wrong bus from the airport, this small police band from Egypt is stranded at a small, sleepy town in Israel. Tired and hungry, eight members of the band all clad in light-blue uniform decide to stay overnight at the place. Using this simple story, Israeli-born director Eran Kolirin (his feature film debut) has made a very amusing and charming film.

Israel-France-US film "The Band's Visit" relates a set of episodes about the band's members and the local residents. Nothing big happens here, just small things that happen between Israeli hosts and Egyptian guests, but all these small things matter in "The Bands Visit," a bitter-sweet tale that will make you smile in a traditional way, without being too political.

The most impressive part for me is about the band's rigid and stoic conductor Tawfiq (Sasson Gabai) and the restaurant owner Dina (Ronit Elkabetz), who is also an attractive woman (in red dress). Difficulties of communication still lie between them when he reluctantly accepts her invitation to dinner, but they slowly begin to reveal what is hidden deep in their heart to one another (and us) - after all Tawfiq may not be the only one who has been left stranded at this quiet town. The excellent performances from Sasson Gabai and Ronit Elkabetz are really fantastic.

Another memorable episode is an equally charming and almost silent one. It happens at the roller disco scene where one of the band's younger members teaches a timid local boy how to seduce a girl. It is a little gem and you have to see it for yourself to understand that sometimes silence is the best way to tell a good story.

The theme of the film may not be particularly new, and it must be said that this quiet film may require patience for some viewers. Still with the great performances from the cast "The Band's Visit" is a lovely little film with genuinely magical moments.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Andy Orrock VINE VOICE on April 29, 2008
Format: Theatrical Release
"The Band's Visit" is 87 minutes of perfection from writer/director Eran Kolirin. There's little dialogue, accounting in part to language barriers, but more due to the dearth of things to talk about in the forgotten outpost of Beit Hatikva. Moreover, its residents seem talked-out and beaten down. Beautiful but weary Dina (the wonderful Ronit Elkabetz) nails the essence of the town's residents when she says that their misdirected Arab guests - looking for the Arab Culture Center - will find "No Arab culture, no Israeli culture, no culture at all."

I'm struck by how Kolirin makes those few words matter so much. Over a dozen scenes are stuck permanently in my head a full month or more after our viewing. Two scenes in particular stand out:

- An indescribably well-played wordless piece where jazz hipster Haled (Saleh Bakri) leads an inept Papi (Shlomi Avraham) through his first encounter with a girl. Brilliant direction here by Kolirin.

- A brilliant scene in which band director Tawfiq (regally portrayed by Sasson Gabai) reluctantly reveals the reason behind his romantic reticence. The core of the scene - when Tawfiq says "You are a good woman, Dina, I am sure of it" - elicts a reaction from Ms. Elkabetz bemoaning a life spent worrying about silly things that don't matter now. It's stirring cinema.

So, now we add "The Band's Visit" to my growing list of Israeli films you must see:

The Syrian Bride
Time of Favor
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