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Under The Bombs

38 customer reviews

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(May 05, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

During a cease-fire in the Lebanon-Israel conflict of 2006, a Christian taxi driver brings an untraditional Shiite woman from Beirut to the heart of the conflict in the country s south. While they scour the rubble of local towns for her son, who was sent to live with her traditional family while she was staying with her husband in Dubai, they discover that despite their very different backgrounds they have much in common. And during their trip through the desolate countryside, the two travelers develop a deep bond as a response to the death striking all around them. The film was shot entirely on location during the summer of 2006, in the middle of the ruins of war-torn Lebanon. Aractingi only hired two professional actors, the rest are real refugees, journalists, soldiers, etc..., playing themselves.

WINNER Altre Visioni and Human Rights Film Award Venice Film Festival
WINNER Golden Pony Award, Best Actress Dubai Intl Film Festival
WINNER The Critics Award Eurasia Film Festival
WINNER Grand Jury Prize Namur Intl Francophone Film Festival
NOMINATED Grand Jury Prize Sundance Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION Seattle Intl Film Festival, Stockholm Intl Film Festival, Amiens Intl Film Festival, Human Rights Watch Film Festival


Strikingly beautiful...Utterly compelling! --The Hollywood Reporter

Superb! ...a hypnotic roller coaster [that is] chilling and deeply affecting --The San Francisco Chronicle

Poignant...improvised scenes score with their emotional authenticity. --Variety

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Nada Abou Farhat, Georges Khabbaz
  • Directors: Philippe Aractingi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Arabic
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Film Movement
  • DVD Release Date: May 5, 2009
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001JH7F42
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,729 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Under The Bombs" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Scheer on August 1, 2009
Format: DVD
Like Haskell Wexler filming "Medium Cool" during events on the streets of Chicago in 1968, French-Lebanese director Philippe Aractingi takes his cameras into war-torn South Lebanon, following two fictional characters in a very real world of bombed-out devastation. The result is a shocking and compelling docudrama, where nonprofessional supporting actors play themselves in the tenuous aftermath of 33 straight days of bombing and shelling. Never amateurish or clumsy, the film assumes the structure of a road movie, in which a taxi driver agrees to drive a distraught mother from Beirut to the village where her son has been living with her sister.

Leveled buildings line the roads, and shattered bridges prevent their progress. Suspense builds as a bond between the two characters grows, made especially poignant by the fact that one is Christian and the other Muslim. This film held me all the way to its galvanizing end. The performances of Nada Abou Farhat, as the woman, and Georges Khabbaz as the taxi driver are wonderful. One of the finest, most believable anti-war movies you're ever likely to see.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By H. Franco on June 14, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a movie that had to be done. Under the Bombs is unique. It can not be described as fiction because the background for the central plot is the cruel reality of another senseless war. It is not a documentary because two professional actors give a human face to the detached portrayal of war that we so frequently see in the news. Both Nada Abou Farhat as well as George Khabbaz provide an authentic performance of the two central characters in the movie. The story revolves around Zeina, a mother searching for her missing sister and son, and Toni, a taxi driver trying to make ends meet in the simultaneously war ravaged and beautiful country of Lebanon. The realism is complete. The burials, the cries, the anger, the explosions, the ruined houses, and the destroyed bridges are all real. The filming was done under unique duress and dangerous circumstances. There is no cosmetic effort to moderate the ugliness of the senseless destruction of civilian property and lives or attempts to exaggerate or otherwise distort the events occurring in real time. The only thing that one can not feel watching this film is the stench of death. What should not be expected from this movie are the glorification of war, the gore, and the sensationalism of combat that is almost invariably the norm prevailing in Hollywood. This movie does not lecture the audience. It does not trivialize pain or take sides with any political point-of-view. It shows war for what it is: a total defeat of the human spirit. Sadly, the plot of this movie is a mirror of what has been happening in too many parts in the world.Read more ›
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Elish on December 31, 2008
Format: DVD
A mother's search for her son in the immediate aftermath of Israel's 2006 bombing of Lebanon provides a vehicle for the viewer to see the destruction and hear from the victims firsthand. For some reason I had expected a somewhat detached semi-documentary, but instead this film drags you into the horrors of a senseless war in the desperate efforts to locate the missing son and sister. It is compelling, haunting, and especially relevant now that Israel is doing the exact same thing in Gaza.
Doubtlessly speaking for many of those caught in the crossfires, the lead actor laments, "This is not MY war," as she seeks to understand the tragedy all around her.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jaroslav Melgr on March 5, 2009
Format: DVD
What a great movie! This is a unique cinematic creation in that it is shot on the site in Lebanon immediately following the cease fire at the end of the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah. There are no props, it's all real stuff. There are only two professional actors in the movie, the rest are real folks, real ruins of war, real bombings and real suffering...

The film follows a story of a Shiite Muslim woman, Zeina, who lives abroad. She and her unfaithful husband are estranged and while working out their marital problems they sent their only child to live back in southern Lebanon with Zeina's sister. Then the war started and the south was heavily bombed during the conflict. Some actual footage of the bombing is shown as caught with amateur camera. Pretty devastating. So Zeina returns from abroad via Turkey to Beirut and tried to find way to the south. No one is willing to take her to the war zone despite the cease fire, except for a Christian taxi driver Toni. They travel together taking detours around bombed bridges and blown up roads looking for Zeina's son. They find her sister's house leveled to the ground and learn that she'd been killed in the collapse of the building. They have some hope that the boy escaped unharmed and so they keep on driving and searching.

In the process of their searching, they come to confront their own past, their own demons and their own insecurities. Amid all the depression and devastation they come to realize that they love southern Lebanon, the place of their upbringing and yearn and resolve to re-build it. This is very symbolic as true re-building of Lebanon can truly be accomplished only as both the Christians and Muslims work hand in hand regardless of their religion. The pain and suffering can indeed be overcome. The climax is just beautiful and I wholeheartedly recommend this movie.
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