Directed by Hany Abu-Assad, whose 2005 film Paradise Now was also nominated for an Academy Award, Omar deals with the difficult subject of a Palestinian who, after he and two friends kill an Israeli soldier, is tortured and agrees to work as an informant for the Israelis. Omar is a complicated tale—even the love story comes with twists and betrayal—and it is not for viewers who want their good guys and bad guys served up in clear and easy terms.
Coincidentally, this year’s entry from Israel, Bethlehem, is also about a Palestinian who agrees to serve as an informant. Frankly, I found Bethlehem a more interesting film because it reveals more complex issues among both the Palestinians and the Israelis. Perhaps that’s because the script was co-written by a Jewish former military intelligence officer, Yuval Adler, and a Muslim journalist, Ali Waked.