The Band's Visit

"Stranded in the Israeli desert, the eight Egyptian members of the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra look a bit like a joke in search of a punch line. If The Band’s Visit were any other kind of film — a little more pat, say, and rather less knowing — these eight souls might quickly transform into mere props in a small-scale sermon about Middle East man’s humanity to Middle East man, minus the politics of course...[Israeli writer and director] Kolirin, it emerges, is wrenching comedy out of intense melancholia."

-- Manohla Dargis, "Strangers in a Land That’s Not So Strange," The New York Times (12/7/07)