In For My Father, a Palestinian suicide bomber in Tel Aviv finds that the switch on his bomb is faulty, forcing him to wait over a weekend for a replacement part to arrive with the very people he was sent to destroy. To complicate matters further, his accomplices have the ability to blow him up by remote control in case he gets cold feet. The bad news is that the compelling premise is handled in an overly simplistic fashion — too glossy, too TV movie-ish. The good news is that the excellent cast makes their stereotypical characters seem real and nuanced, while the filmmakers manage to both maintain a sense of tension and create a neighborhood that feels genuine and vital. The score is a winner, too. For My Father isn't nearly as edgy or incisive as it should be, but the film is engaging nonetheless. Grand Prize nominee. 100 minutes.
For more info: www.heartlandfilmfestival.com