Shoot and Cry (1988)

Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Shoot and Cry tells the story of two eighteen year-old boys and their futile attempts to find a common ground. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, the film studies the lives, backgrounds, and brief encounters of Tal, an Israeli slated to begin military service in the West Bank, and Mohammed, a Palestinian from the West Bank who works as a cook in a cafe frequented by Tal. It's here in the cafe that they meet and, through the mutual affection of the young, make slight advances towards each other. For all of their unaffected good will and intentions, their relationship never develops, either towards a true friendship or serious conflict, and remains forestalled. Their conversations reveal that their interpretations of their shared reality have nothing in common. While the political situation plays a role in this, the true barrier resides in the way they have internalized politics. Tal cannot overcome his patriotism; Mohammed cannot see beyond his sense of injustice. They move within the same world but cannot share it. By film's end, their conversations make clear that their relationship serves to underscore the complex problems of the Middle East conflict -- a progress forever forestalled by conflicting senses of inherited ethics.