Omar, a film directed by Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now), releases at Cinema Nouveau theatres on Friday, 05 December.
The film follows the story of Omar, who is accustomed to dodging surveillance bullets to cross the separation wall to visit his secret love, Nadia. But, occupied Palestine knows neither simple love nor clear-cut war. On the other side of the wall, the sensitive young baker Omar becomes a freedom fighter who must face painful choices about life and manhood.
When Omar is captured after a deadly act of resistance, he falls into a cat-and-mouse game with the military police. Suspicion and betrayal jeapordise his long-time trust with accomplices and childhood friends, Amjad and Tarek, Nadia’s militant brother. Omar’s feelings quickly become as torn apart as the Palestinian landscape. But it is soon evident that everything he does is for his love of Nadia.
Director Hany Abu-Assad commented: “The four young characters are all played by newcomers and this is their first film. During the casting process, the casting director and I worked tirelessly, searching through many Palestinian actors. When we looked at each of them, the most important things were their believability, their ability to express deep emotions and, when in combination with one another, the creation of a dynamic force.
“Adam Bakri, who plays Omar, is a true discovery. He is not only a great actor, but he is unbelievably hard working, stopping at nothing to find the core of Omar‘s character and once filmed, he leaps off the screen. Leem Loubany, as Nadia, is a strong force with a sadness in her eyes that keeps everyone who looks at her intrigued and wanting more.
“Samer Bisharat, who plays Amjad, is the comedian of the group and we incorporated many of the jokes he would tell off screen into his character and into Omar. Eyad Hourani, who played Tarek, showed me a whole new side of Tarek, someone who could be tough and vulnerable, serious and funny, all at the same time, in the same moment. I am very happy with who we finally found and cast and all of them enriched this film tremendously.”
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