“…Tell me you’re a lesbian, tell me you have cancer, but don’t tell me you have an Arab boyfriend.” – Dancing Arabs Film Review
by Cornelia Schweitzer
Dancing Arabs is the name of the semi-autobiographical novel written in 2002 by Sayed Kashua, who also wrote the script for the film. Sayed shows his own experience as a young Arab in Israel to people like me who are coming from completely outside the Arab and Jewish cultures while balancing the film with wry humour.
The story starts with Eyad (Tawfeek Barhom) who grew up with his lovely mother and his father involved in freedom fighting for Palestine. Eyad, the pride and joy of his family had the opportunity to attend Jerusalem’s most prestigious boarding school (Jerusalem – Israel Arts and Science Academy) as the first and only Arab. Between anti-terrorism exercises and ID-controls he had to deal with his secret Jewish girlfriend Naomi (Danielle Kitzis) and his best friend Jonathan (Michael Moshonov) with muscular dystrophy who gets weaker from day to day.
All in all the filming scenes are technical well done, the actors are fitting perfectly for their role and offer an authentic performance.