Movie Monday: MIRAL

Frieda Pinto as Miral

As an English Teacher travelling to far off foreign lands, it is only a matter of time before your ignorance is exposed. In Egypt, I learned that it is not always so simple and easy for someone to just want peace. A student of mine asked me plainly: “What would you do if they came into your homes and killed your people?”

“Miral is the name of a flower. It grows on the side of the road. You’ve probably seen millions of them.”

I came across the movie as I usually do new movies, on some random movie blog. I looked it up on as saw some very small minded people giving the film very small minded reviews. Asking why Miral only looks at the issue in Palestine/Israel from the Arab point of view.

On HBO’s original series (and one of the few news related shows on TV/satellite which is honest) Real Time With Bill Maher’s guest last Friday was the director of The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, Basquiat, and Miral itself. He answered his critics like a real honest-to-the-source-material art-house director would “We already know our side,” said the Jewish-American director, speaking on behalf of the general Western sheltered culture. I couldn’t agree more, we understand so little of the personal experience of an entire race of people. We need not look outside of even our own races to find open gaps in our knowledge of life in areas less ‘civilized’ than ours. Let alone try to assume things based on books, movies, and let’s face, stereotype.

Miral takes a look at the female experience in a war torn region of the Islamic world that may never be able to find a peaceful resolution. On a deeper level, it looks at a person’s primal desire, when backed against the wall, to “take up arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them.” The arousal to fight manifests whether or not the person believes he or she can triumph over whatever adversary they are facing. This is the pride that resides in the hearts of all men and women. It is the strength of the human spirit. Its will to fight for what is ‘right’ no matter the cost that – the Arab people I’ve met believe – will only result in a Palestinian victory.

Peep the trailer:

“No future for them, without one for us.”
I don’t condone violence, but that doesn’t mean I don’t understand it under some circumstances. It is an inescapable part of our natures, of our histories. …inescapable? Surely the history is a large and complicated issue, but I think the healing should start with women being treated accordingly; as our most valuable assets.

4/5 Black Ty’s

Ma ‘is salaama