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Homeland

Crosses the barrier of decency and hurts the cause.

With:
(English, Arabic, Dutch, French, Spanish dialogue)

Though billed as the final installment of a trilogy detailing the frustrations and tragedies of two Palestinian families over 36 years, “Homeland” is less concerned with the Middle East’s most intractable conflict and far more invested in showcasing vet helmer George Sluizer’s self-aggrandizing righteousness. Utilizing methods that would make Michael Moore blush, Sluizer crosses the barrier of decency and hurts the cause. An award at Abu Dhabi plus Dutch TV funding means this self-satisfied piece of agitprop will kick around for some time.

Sluizer began filming his subjects in 1974 and 1983, brought together under the title “The Land of the Fathers,” returning to the diasporic families in 2010 after a burst aneurysm left him semi-crippled (he uses his disability as a blatant sympathy magnet). Generously quoting from horrific statements made by Israeli leaders — verifiable citations would help the argument — Sluizer truly shocks when he fakes a meeting with a comatose Ariel Sharon in which he’s photoshopped Sharon’s head onto another body, telling him the world would be better had he died in Auschwitz. Almost lost in the grandstanding is the Palestinian plight, playing second fiddle to Sluizer’s smug anger.

Homeland

Netherlands

Production: A Sluizer Films production supported by the Netherlands Film Fund in association with VPRO Television, CoBo Fund, Al Jazeera Documentary Channel. (International sales: Sluizer Films, Nice.) Produced by Anne Lordon. Directed, written by George Sluizer.

Crew: Camera (color, DigiBeta), Bernd Wouthuysen; editors, Jan Dop, Srdjan Fink; music, Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, Olger Star. Reviewed online, Abu Dhabi, Oct. 21. 2010. (In Abu Dhabi Film Festival -- competing; Intl. Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam -- competing.) Running time: 76 MIN.

With: (English, Arabic, Dutch, French, Spanish dialogue)

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