Synopsis by Nathan Southern
When the Ceremonial Police Band of Alexandria, Egypt, journeys to a gig in Israel, they can hardly anticipate getting stuck in a rut. But upon arrival at the Israeli airport, their hosts and transportation fail to show. So begins first-time director Eran Kolirin's fish-out-of-water comedy The Band's Visit (aka Bikur Hatizmoret, 2007). Trapped in a middle-of-nowhere desert town, the group members try to figure out what to do and where to go. In desperation, two of the musicians -- conductor Tawfiq (Sasson Gabai) and playboy Haled (Saleh Bakri) -- accept an invitation from sexy café owner Dina (Ronit Elkabetz) to bunk at her residence, and seemingly within no time, the unlikeliest of interracial (Israeli-Palestinian) romances begin to blossom -- not only between Tawfiq and Dina, but between Haled and local wallflower Papi (Shlomi Avraham), whose night together at a roller disco turns into a veritable comedy of errors. Meanwhile, the remainder of the bandmembers room with local resident Itzik's (Rubi Moscovich) family, which produces overwhelming conflict and innumerable tensions. As the days roll on, the co-mingling of Egyptian bandmembers and Israeli residents imparts each individual with insights into his cultural identity and that of the others.