Contemporary World Cinema
United Kingdom / 2004 / English dialogue with Arabic subtitles / Colour / 35 mm / 100 minutes
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<I>The Hamburg Cell </I>was always going to be controversial; after all, there are few directors willing to tackle the subject of the September 11 attacks. But Irish writer Ronan Bennett and British director Antonia Bird, known for their bold take on pertinent issues, achieve almost the impossible. Their attempts to reconstruct how sociable, easy-going student Ziad Jarrah (Karim Saleh)-in love with his wife-became a jihadist and suicide hijacker, is shot with a calm, neutral eye. Following its premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, screening at the Venice Film Festival, and debut on British television, <I>The Hamburg Cell </I>won plaudits from the critics, impressed by the film's rare ability to mix a well-researched, genuinely gripping storyline with thoughtful, illuminating direction. Powerful and thought provoking, you'll find it impossible to walk away unmoved.


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