The Attack
Castro TheatreTue, Jul 30, 2013 6:15 PM Not Available
Film Info
Director(s):Ziad Doueiri
Year of Production:2012
Running Time:102
Language(s):Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles
Special Events:Centerpiece
Israelis and Arabs


By all appearances Palestinian Israeli surgeon Amin Jaafari (brilliantly played by Ali Suliman, (Lemon Tree, Paradise Now) has it all. As an admired and respected member of his profession he has carved a space for himself and his wife Sihem at the crossroads of two troubled societies. Together they have strong friendships with Israelis, absorbing a Tel Aviv lifestyle that rejects traditionalism. Amin and Sihem are ostensibly the best examples of Palestinian integration, and despite some tension in the hospital, Jaafari is blissfully unaware of differences. If we are to believe him, his wife is generally satisfied too. But Jaafari’s world is abruptly shattered when Sihem goes missing after a suicide bombing. As Israeli police evidence mounts, it appears that Sihem could have been responsible. A stunned Jaafari is haunted by how he could have missed the signals. In dreamlike sequences he revisits his most intimate encounters with Sihem looking for clues. Evading the police and following his own intuition he travels alone to the Palestinian Territories to find those who might have recruited her. In the narrow streets and shadowed alleys he becomes an unwelcome visitor. Directed by Beirut-born Ziad Doueiri and based on a popular novel written by Algerian novelist Yasmina Khadra, this highly suspenseful drama bravely enters into the complicated world of redemption and revenge in the Middle East. In the story one understands that Khadra is attempting to illuminate both sides of the conflict. —Janis Plotkin
Screened at Toronto Film Festival, 2012 and Telluride Film Festival, 2012.
Director Ziad Doueiri and actor Ali Suliman in person in San Francisco.


Additional Information

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Ziad Doueiri grew up during the country’s Civil War. He left Lebanon at 20 and studied in the United States, graduating in 1986 with a degree in Film from San Diego State University. Ziad worked as an assistant camera and a camera operator in Los Angeles from 1987 to 1997 on numerous films including Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown. In 1998 Ziad wrote and directed his first feature film WEST BEIRUT, which earned him critical acclaim and numerous awards at festivals around the world. His second feature was LILA SAYS a critical hit which played at Sundance among other festivals. In addition to his film work, in 2005 Ziad directed the Immigrant episode from Season 1 of the award winning and Golden Globe nominated Showtime series Sleeper Cell. In 2012, Ziad directs THE ATTACK a feature film based on Yasmina Khadra’s international bestseller of the same name. Ziad is currently developing Affaires étrangeres (Foreign Affairs), co-written by Joelle Touma, who co-wrote THE ATTACK and Lila Says, and starring Gérard Depardieu. Actor/producer and Academy Award nominee Rachid Bouchareb’s Paris-based company Tessalit and 3B Productions’ Jean Bréhat are producing. The film centers on a retired French diplomat (Depardieu) who is secretly sent by the U.S. government to negotiate an agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.