Arts & Entertainment

The Insult

This is an extraordinary film and may well earn a place among the very best cinematic courtroom dramas. It shows how complex political, social and religious issues can be, and how quickly a small private incident can escalate into a nationwide melee when aggravated by personal, historical wounds.

Tony Hanna (Adel Karam) is a Lebanese Christian living with his pregnant wife, Shirine (Rita Hayek) in a suburb of Lebanon which has become home to groups of Palestinian refugees. Yasser Salameh (Kamel El Basha) is one such refugee, an older man leading a team of contractors who are carrying out neighbourhood building repairs. When one such repair is attempted on Tony’s house it leads to confrontation (Tony is the member of a jingoistic political party). Tony shouts one, then later another much worse insult at Yasser, provoking an assault and leading them to court. Tony’s lawyer is a high profile seasoned master, Wajde Wehbe (Camile Salameh) and he is pit against his own daughter acting for Yasser, Nadine Wehbe (Diamand Abou Abboud).

The Insult is gripping, intelligent and emotionally charged.

★★★★ ½

Reviewed by Rita Bratovich

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