West Bank Story (2005)

May 14, 2022, Short 12

Wow, did I love this.

A parody of West Side Story and the Israeli-Palestinian ongoing conflict? There is no way that was going to work. Except it did. Amazingly well. So well that it received an Oscar for Best Live Action Short.

West Bank Story was a musical comedy set on the West Bank between dueling falafel restaurants, The Hummus Hut and The Kosher King. Israeli soldier David (Ben Newmark) met the beautiful Palestinian cashier of her family’s falafel restaurant, Fatima (Noureen DeWulf) and they fell in love despite the dueling nature of their family’s businesses and the anger and resentment that existed between them.

Everything about this hits the mark. The music is wonderful, with a flavor of both styles throughout. The comedy was sharp and on target, skewering both sides equally. The acting was spot on among the entire ensemble.

This was directed by Ari Sandel and it is such a wonderful film, you should search this one out. I found the whole film on YouTube and I was thoroughly enthralled with it from the first note.

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