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Freezone review

by: Marcus J Freed - Last updated: 2008-10-16

It's always a good day when Natalie Portman releases a new film on DVD, and there's great surprise in store to coincide with the Jewish New Year.

Acclaimed French director Amos Gitai explores the bitter realities of Middle Eastern conflict in the fascinating, award-winning road movie that gives a rare glimpse into a part of the world, from Jerusalem's Wailing Wall to Jordan, that is often seen on news broadcasts but seldom seen in the movies.
Free Zone is the first Israeli movie filmed in an Arab country and is a hit. Ms Portman appears as Rebecca, an American Jewish woman, who has split from her Spanish-Israeli fiancé and embarks on a road trip.

In a bid to escape the painful memories of the break-up, she joins Hanna (Hanna Lazlo), a middle aged Israeli woman who is determined to collect a large debt owed to her injured husband by his business partner, known as 'The American'. The journey takes them from Jerusalem to the so-called 'Free Zone' - a tax-free region where those from countries at war trade cars with one another.

The film won a nomination for the Golden Palm at the recent Cannes Film festival and makes for a great night in.

Free Zone is out October 20