BARONESS STEIN, THE HONOURABLE KIKESS

The Honourable Woman is a BBC TV series about a heroic Kikess Baroness from Kikestan-in-Palestine. The series was written, directed and produced by Kikes, and stars Kikes, with a few Shabbos Goyim and an IRA supporter. And it is funded by and broadcast on a Kike-run TalmudVision network. It is praised by Kikes and Shabbos Goyim as being "even-handed" and "objective" between Kikestanis and Palestinians.

The Honourable Woman (UK, 2014)

Review by John Varley, varley.net

Here we have an eight-part TV series from the BBC, and it’s a corker. [Kike] Maggie Gyllenhaal is the Jewish head of a communications company that works to help bring some harmony to the Middle East by installing fiberoptic cables in Palestinian territory. Her father was assassinated right in front of her and her brother, at a banquet when they were young children. And eight years previous she was kidnapped in Gaza and held for about a year, until she was rescued. She is a real idealist, but she has a secret that can be used against her.

The plot is Byzantine, and full of surprises and violence, and there’s no point in going into it any deeper. This feels very much like John le Carré territory, where you’re never sure who is on what side. Sometimes the characters don’t even know. It’s hard to tell who to dislike the most: the Palestinians, the Israelis, the Brits, or the Americans. They are all backstabbing, despicable, scheming, violent bastards. Is it any surprise that the Middle East has been fucked up for sixty years, with not a smidgen of a sign of getting any better?

It is written and directed by [Kike] Hugo Blick. There are really good performances from all the cast, notably Stephen Rea as what looks like the only other person in the story who actually wants to do some good in the world. But the show totally belongs to Maggie. It is a magnificent performance of a complex and conflicted character. One of the best roles I’ve seen in a long time.



A Miniseries Torn from the Mideast Headlines

Greg Salisbury, August 13, 2014
The Jewish Exponent ~ What It Means to be Jewish in Philidelphia

It’s the kind of free publicity you either dream of or have nightmares about: The premiere of an eight-part miniseries dealing with the ever-shifting terrain and loyalties of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict debuted on the Sundance Channel on July 31 — vying for screen time with the most recent outbreak of war in Gaza, rocket attacks on Israel and anti-Semitic displays from around the world.

Hugo Blick, the writer/producer/director of The Honorable Woman says he wasn’t surprised by the conflation of real and fictional events. He says he was aware of the possibility of a third war in the area since 2009 when he was researching in Hebron 18 months ago. “You know that it’s never going away — it’s a cycle, although one could never expect the prescience of the timing.”

Steeped in espionage, dueling historical interpretations and constantly morphing relationships that firmly establishes Blick, a 49-year-old Briton, as a worthy successor to John Le Carré, the series compresses the enormity of decades of conflict into one woman’s family.

Nessa Stein — played with protean skill by Maggie Gyllenhal — an Israeli-born citizen of England who has just been appointed to the House of Lords, also runs the munitions company founded by her father. A devout Zionist, he supplied arms to Israel until he was murdered in front of a young Nessa and her brother, Ephra. As she tries to realize her dream of providing high-speed data access to both Israel and the Palestinian territories, her past begins to catch up with her in a slow-burning conflagration that attracts MI-6, the CIA and the Palestinian terrorists who captured her and her Palestinian friend/translator, Atika, eight years ago.

The premise of The Honorable Woman is so au courant that it prominently features many of the same players and locales that have been splayed across front pages and home pages reporting on the current war. But the genesis of Blick’s vision first manifested itself more than three decades ago, with the attempted assassination of Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shlomo Argov, an incident that left Argov permanently paralyzed and that led directly to the first Lebanon War in 1982.

Blick says the impact of that horrific event has stayed with him since he first found out about it as a child. “I was in the area as a boy, and I remember it — I was very aware at that time of the PLO activity” — Argov was targeted by followers of Abu Nidal, who had rejected the PLO by that point as not being sufficiently proactive in anti-Israel terrorism.

The 1982 attack left Blick with a lifelong fascination in how the personal and the geopolitical can be inexorably linked. A note of incredulity can be heard in his voice as he talks about how the assassination attempt, which took place in front of London’s Dorchester Hotel, reverberated around the world.

“Acts of violence, when you’re close to them, and they’re not anticipated, they can have a strong influence — look at how a couple of meters of a London sidewalk became part of an intractable conflict.”

Although he wasn’t raised Jewish, Blick has a Jewish father, which, he says, deepened his interest in Israeli affairs. “I should say I have a greater interest and affirmation” in what happens to Israel, “and how difficult it is for Israel to be surrounded by combatants on its border, but I recognize the pressing need of the other side as well.” That need to acknowledge the needs of both Israelis and Palestinians asserts itself in an evenhanded way throughout the series.

Blick’s belief in the interconnected nature of an event’s impact on both micro and macro levels provides the thematic structure of The Honorable Woman, and the luxury of filming what amounts to an eight-hour movie allows him to explore the psychological and emotional effects of those who have been exposed to violence both physical and intangible, real and implied.

The resultant pacing may take some getting used to for viewers used to resolutions presented within a traditional film’s two-hour running time, and produces an immersive experience along the lines of The Sopranos and Breaking Bad, two other long-form shows that didn’t shy away from mixing introspective moments with plot-necessitated violence.

“The meditative, contemplative pace of this gives it a unique voice,” Blick says, citing the influence of filmmakers like Jon Boorman and Carol Reed, whose films like Point Blank and Odd Man Out, respectively, are paragons of the deliberately paced psychological action thriller.

One way that Blick has differentiated The Honorable Woman from both his predecessors and, indeed, from the vast majority of films and television being made today, is by having virtually all of the lead roles go to the women of his international cast, including Janet McTeer as the head of MI-6, Lubna Azabal as Atika and Katherine Parkinson as Nessa’s sister-in-law. Blick says that having his story revolve around women “was conscious to a degree.” He wondered, “What would happen if I put women into the story and made them protagonists? How would we explore their psychology in the genre?”

Social experiments aside, The Honorable Woman is a prime example of how good television can be in the right hands. Smart, taut storylines that delve into the politics and the history of the conflict at the same time they unravel individual lives, it is a wholly believable, fully realized world that offers nuances and observations about the ongoing Israel-Palestinian struggle.

So how did Blick, who is best known to American audiences as the actor who portrayed a young Jack Napier before he became the Joker in the 1989 version of Batman — where he uttered the famous non-sequitur, “Did you ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?” — get the go-ahead to create a program that would require a commitment from viewers to watch eight hours of sometimes-bloody, sometimes-expository Middle East-centric storylines with a female-heavy cast?

To hear the publicity-shy Blick (he sounds delighted when told that the most detailed personal information readily available about him begins and ends with his birth year) tell it, it’s all because no one else wanted to do Marion and Geoff, a drama about a cabbie that ran from 2000 to 2003.

“No one would fund it, so I did it myself,” he says, taking the reins out of sheer desperation and necessity.

Marion and Geoff wound up winning numerous awards in Britain and led to numerous other television projects for Blick, most notably the 2011 series, The Shadow Line, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Christopher Eccleston.

The Honorable Woman is being shown simultaneously in the United Kingdom and the United States, thanks to the distribution partnership between the BBC and Sundance Channel. Surprisingly, though, Blick says there are no plans at present to show it in Israel. He affirms that it will happen “at the right moment,” especially since the series has received such a positive response from both critics and viewers.

“People have engaged in the dexterity of the exploration of the story,” he says. “I hope it does have some place in the region’s understanding of itself. Some small place.”



A day at the races? No, we’re filming a BBC thriller about the Middle East
On set with Yigal Naor, one of the stars of new drama The Honourable Woman


The Jewish Chronicle
By Sandy Rashty, June 30, 2014

I’m on set with the stars of the BBC’s latest political thriller, The Honourable Woman, which deals with the Israel-Palestinian conflict through the lives of the Stein family. As the story goes, the Steins once ran a lucrative Zionist arms procurement company under the watch of patriarch Eli Stein, who came to Britain as a Holocaust refugee in 1939. Next Thursday’s opening episode sees his youngest daughter and House of Lords cross-bencher Nessa (Oscar nominated actress Maggie Gyllenhaal) taking over the family business and changing it from arms supplier to a more peaceful purpose.

“Nessa is such an exciting and intricate character,” says Gyllenhaal, whose own mother is Jewish. “I couldn’t put the scripts down.” And the storyline certainly has the requisite murder, espionage and political conspiracy themes that make for compelling TV drama. But British director Hugo Blick is reluctant for the series — set in the UK, Israel and America — to be seen as “another Homeland”.

An area of Sandown Park racecourse has been transformed into a club lounge at Heathrow airport as Blick guides cast and crew through a four-minute scene over a three-hour period. This prominently features Israeli actor Yigal Naor, who plays Shlomo Zahary, a friend of the Stein family. Naor arrives in an open shirt, wearing a large star of David necklace and laughing boisterously. In the scene, he speaks Hebrew in a gruff accent and slams a table repeatedly to emphasise his dialogue. The high number of retakes reflects Blick’s precision, rather than a fumbling of lines.

This is Naor’s last scene for the series and Blick leads the applause as the actor repairs to his trailer. Word reaches me that Naor needs time to change, prepare and have some lunch. An hour passes before I’m escorted to his trailer. He has indeed changed, both in manner and dress, sporting a blue shirt, khaki blazer and a pair of vintage circular specs.He apologises in advance for his broken English, although it becomes clear that he is up to speed on expletives.

“I wish all my life to work in a series like this,” he says. “It was a beautiful cast and crew. I was laughing the whole time, having fun. To speak so fast as I did today — not easy. But I work on it. I’m not supposed to sound British anyway.”

Known in the industry as Igal (apparently people find it easier than Yigal) Naor says it was his idea to use Hebrew in the last scene.

From the moment he read the script, “I knew it was a meaningful role. I saw how I dress, how I look. I said: ‘That’s Shlomo. This guy is not shy. He’s a wonderful person.’ I was just shocked by the writing. I was not so familiar with the English cast, but I appreciated the nuances of language. It has an edge of poetry. It’s so human, personal, detailed.”

And he was particularly moved by one scene, which he describes as a “wonderful Jewish ceremony.

“In Israel, religion is problematic,” he points out. “But in this scene, we have 30 extras singing and dancing. It was such a pleasure, such a celebration. That night I told my wife, it was the most wonderful day in years.”

Given its open discussion of the Middle East conflict through the eyes of an Israeli Zionist living in Britain, The Honourable Woman may well spark controversy.

But Naor is reluctant to discuss politics. “I don’t come here as an Israeli,” he says. “I come as an actor. I don’t want [the audience] to judge me or my thoughts.

“Because I am Israeli, I guess I don’t want to hear about the Middle East too much. I don’t think about the Middle East as much as starvation in Africa.” The Honourable Woman “is the story of people and their background. It doesn’t judge the Jews or the Palestinians. It’s about the people and the emotion. The rest is s***. We get on with our lives, not politics.”

The 55-year-old previously played a Muslim cleric in David Baddiel’s comedy, The Infidel, co-starring Omid Djalili, who Naor says, “looks like my twin brother”.

Naor, who is of Iraqi Jewish descent, received international acclaim for his sympathetic portrayal of Saddam Hussein in House Of Saddam.“I thought, ‘What am I going to do with this role?’ It was a big struggle, but I decided to go on the human side of him, to tell something new. I found it easy to be on his side.”

It’s a surprising remark, but Naor argues: “Look at the situation in Iraq now — it’s a mess, divided. Now you look, you see he was right.”



The Honourable Woman, BBC Two

In which Hugo Blick tackles the personal and political complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian question


Adam Sweeting, The Arts Desk04 July 2014

Janet McTeer has admitted that she had to read Hugo Blick's screenplay for The Honourable Woman three times before she could understand what was going on. Therefore anybody hoping to drop into this as a casual viewer can expect to find the learning curve slippery and featuring a pronounced adverse camber.

McTeer wasn't in this first episode, but there were still plenty of stellar names to be going on with. Stephen Rea (pictured below right) plays the world-weary Sir Hugh Hayden-Hoyle, the outgoing head of MI6 and a man reduced to microwaving himself solitary suppers in his apartment by the Thames. A none-too-defrosted Lindsay Duncan plays his estranged wife Anjelica, though it's odd that their relationship should trigger echoes of George Smiley and his wife Ann, since Rea played a Smiley-esque character in Blick's 2011 series The Shadow Line too. Then there was Eve Best as Monica Chatwin, back from the States to take up a new Foreign Office post in London.

But front and centre is Maggie Gyllenhaal, making her first move into TV drama as Nessa Stein, the Anglicised daughter of a wealthy Jewish arms manufacturer who used to supply weapons to Israel. Her father's traumatic murder in the show's opening moments gave us a bracing heads-up about the stakes being played for. Three decades later, Nessa runs the Stein Group of companies, but has steered the family business towards more philanthropic ends, such as her new initiative to install fibre-optic cabling throughout the Palestinian West Bank. She believes in solving problems through education and progress rather than perpetual warfare, views shared by her mild-mannered brother Ephra (Andrew Buchan).

It looks like the eight-part series is going to plot a complicated course through the bitter and intractable politics of the Middle East and how they've been entwined with Britain's history, though there's no telling how credible all this might be. Already there has been a resurgence of that Blickian tendency to set up portentous dialogues between characters representing important interests of state, all delivered with an air of immense gravity while carefully keeping the viewer starved of information. They are the insiders, he seems to be saying, and you little people will just have to wait your turn (Lindsay Duncan, below).

Blick certainly seems to like the idea of stripping away pompous, formal facades to reveal the rottenness or betrayals beneath. Nessa herself has just been made Baroness Stein of Tilbury (handy training for Gyllenhaal if she ever gets her wish to appear in Downton Abbey, where her flawless English accent could put some home-grown actors to shame), and this prompted a lot of traipsing down ancestral passageways dressed in ermine. So far it doesn't seem to be telling us anything new about the secretive workings of the Establishment, though. For that matter, how feasible is it that the head of MI6 gets his information about whether a Palestinian multi-millionaire was murdered or committed suicide by playing chess with an elderly Jewish gentleman called Judah, who somehow knows all the innermost secrets of Mossad and the Knesset? (the vaulted room in which they played their chess was undeniably impressive, however).

Blick has picked the hot-button issue of the day by focusing on the Palestinian-Israeli nexus, but it's where he takes it that matters.



Maggie Gyllenhaal stars in new BBC drama, The Honourable Woman

Jewish News, July 3, 2014

Jeananne Craig speaks to Maggie Gyllenhaal about her latest role as Anglo-Israeli Baroness Nessa Stein in Hugo Blick’s political drama, The Honourable Woman

Maggie Gyllenhaal might seem like a settled New Yorker, but she’s been casting her eye across the pond of late – to London in fact – where she has just finished filming the BBC Israeli political drama, The Honourable Woman.

“I feel like that’s really where I ought to be living. I just have to convince my husband [actor [Kike] Peter Sarsgaard],” she says with a laugh.

“You know how in some cities you just feel like they welcome you in? I feel that way about London. You make friends easily and get the rhythm of the city.”

The American-Jewish actress had her daughters Ramona, seven and Gloria Ray, two, in tow while filming the eight-part thriller, her first TV role, which starts tonight.

But she did spend five days on location in Morocco without them.

“It was like a vacation,” she confesses, her already saucer-like blue eyes widening.

“I’d come home and be like, ‘Oh my God, I can just take a bath and eat something, and look at the scene for tomorrow. That’s all I have to do!’”

Gyllenhaal plays Anglo-Israeli Baroness Nessa Stein, who has inherited her late father’s arms business and changed the company’s purpose to laying data cables between Israel and the West Bank.

Nessa witnessed her father’s assassination as a child, was held hostage in Gaza as a young woman, and also harbours a dark secret from her past.

Now in her thirties, her sudden appointment as a life peer, apparently due to her tireless promotion of projects for reconciliation between the Israelis and Palestinians, creates an international political maelstrom.

The show’s topical political themes were part of what drew Gyllenhaal to the project: “In particular, the incredibly compassionate and thoughtful way those political ideas are dealt with.”

Mainly, however, she just loved her complex, powerful character.

“She’s so much more alive than I am – than anyone is, really. It’s nice to be in her skin,” says Gyllenhaal, whose breakthrough role came in the controversial 2002 film, Secretary, about a sexually dominant boss (played by [Kike] James Spader) and his submissive secretary. The performance won Gyllenhaal a Golden Globe nomination.

“[Kike] Hugo [Blick, writer and director of The Honourable Woman] wrote a whole person. He gave me space to be a whole woman, who is all the things that we actually are – she’s confident and intelligent and graceful, but she’s also broken and confused and scared.”

Gyllenhaal, who also picked up an Oscar nomination for her role in the 2009 film Crazy Heart, carries off Nessa’s cut-glass accent with aplomb.

“I’ve done an English accent quite a few times now. I did it in Nanny McPhee Returns [2010] and in Hysteria [2011]. But this is the first time I’ve ever felt it was totally in my bones.

“It just felt like it was my voice. I did this thing, which I know is kind of embarrassing, but once I was in work, I just talked in an English accent all day.”

She did draw the line at speaking to her husband in Nessa’s clipped tones. “I could never talk to him in an English accent. He would just be like, ‘What are you doing?’”

When she and Sarsgaard aren’t working, they hang out with their daughters and try and go on the occasional run together (“He’s an ultra-marathoner, so he’s been getting me into running lately”).

She also sees plenty of her younger brother and Brokeback Mountain star Jake when he’s in New York. “We are close. And my mom (screenwriter Naomi Foner) really helps me with the kids, she’s been amazing that way.”

Career-wise, everything has changed for the star since becoming a mother.

“It just blew my heart open, and the spectrum of feeling got so much bigger on every side since I had kids. It definitely made me a better actress,” she says. “Also, there’s so much about planning. That kind of carefree, ‘Yeah, I’ll do that job, it’s all right’, it just can’t work like that anymore. I have to really take my kids into account all the time.”

Being a busy mother also means Gyllenhaal, who will make her Broadway debut alongside Ewan McGregor in the [Kike] Tom Stoppard comedy The Real Thing this October, doesn’t always have time to be camera-ready for paparazzi encounters.

“Lots of times I’m like, ‘OK, I’ve got the kids alone, I need to get Ramona to school, I just don’t have time for a sweep of mascara, I don’t have time for anything’. Sometimes I completely forget about it, and those are the times when I get paparazzied and I’m like, ‘Oh God, I really wish I’d put that cute hat on and sunglasses!’

“I can turn it out and make an effort when I need to, but you don’t have to every day,” Gyllenhaal reasons. “Sometimes, you just have to put on jeans and a T-shirt, and take your kid to school.”

The Honourable Woman begins on BBC Two tonight



CAST
  • Kikess Maggie Gyllenhaal as Nessa Stein, Anglo-Kikestani Baroness Stein of Tilbury
  • Andrew Buchan as Ephra Stein, Nessa's brother.
  • Stephen Rea as Sir Hugh Hayden-Hoyle, the outgoing head of MI6's Middle East desk. Rea has always struck me as a crypto-Kike. Certainly he looks Ashkenazi/Khazar kikish. His wife, and the mother of his children, was an IRA bomber. [Wikipedia: "Dolours Price participated in a car bombing of the Old Bailey on 8 March 1973. The explosion injured over 200 people and is believed to have contributed to the death of one person who suffered a fatal heart attack. Dolours and her sister Marian were arrested, along with Gerry Kelly, Hugh Feeney and six others, on the day of the bombing, as they were boarding a flight to Ireland. Although originally sentenced to life imprisonment, which was to run concurrently for each criminal charge, their sentence was eventually reduced to 20 years. Dolours Price served seven years of her sentence for her part in the IRA car bombing, during which time she immediately went on a hunger strike in a campaign to be moved to a prison in Northern Ireland. The hunger strike lasted more than 200 days, because the hunger strikers were force-fed by prison authorities. As part of the campaign, the sisters' father, Albert Price, contested West Belfast at the UK General Election of February 1974 receiving 5,662 votes (11.9%).The Price sisters, Hugh Feeney, and Gerry Kelly were moved to Northern Irish prisons in 1975 as a result of negotiations that occurred during a British-IRA truce.[5] In 1980, Price received the Royal Prerogative of Mercy and was freed on humanitarian grounds in 1981, purportedly suffering from anorexia nervosa. In the late 1990s, the Price sisters claimed that they had been threatened by their former supporters in Sinn Féin for speaking out against the Good Friday Agreement. Price was a regular contributor to The Blanket, an online journal, edited by former PIRA member Anthony McIntyre and his American wife, Carrie Twomey, until it ceased publication in 2008. After her release in 1980, she married Irish actor Stephen Rea, who was hired to speak the words of Gerry Adams when Sinn Féin was under a broadcasting ban. In 2001, Dolours Price was arrested in Dublin and charged with possession of stolen prescription pads and forged prescriptions. She pleaded guilty. Price and Rea divorced in 2003; the couple had two sons. In February 2010, it was reported by The Irish News that Price had offered help to the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains in locating graves of three men, Joe Lynskey, Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee, who were allegedly killed by the IRA and whose bodies have not been found. At the same time, Price claimed Gerry Adams had been her "Officer Commanding" when she was in the IRA. Adams, who has never admitted to being a member of that group, denied the allegation. Price admitted to driving the kidnapped Jean McConville, accused by the IRA of being an informer, to the place where she was killed in 1972. She claimed the killing of McConville, a mother of 10, was ordered by Adams, who denied Price's story. On 24 January 2013, Dolours Price was found dead at her home, evidently as a result of the toxic effect of a mix of prescribed sedative and anti-depressant medications"]
  • Lubna Azabal as Atika Halibi, close friend of Nessa and nanny to Ephra's two children. [Wikipdia: "Lubna Azabal is a Belgian actress, born 1973 in Brussels to a Moroccan father and a Spanish mother. She was raised trilingual (French, Spanish and Berber). Her most widely known film role is in the 2005 Palestinian [actually a Kikestani/Dutch-Kike/EU film] political thriller, Paradise Now, directed by Hany Abu-Assad about two Palestinian men preparing for a suicide attack in Israel. It won a Golden Globe for best foreign language film and was nominated for an Academy Award in the same category. Produced by Bero Beyer. Written by Hany Abu-Assad and Dutch Kike Bero Beyer. The filmmakers faced great difficulties making the film on location. A land mine exploded 300 meters away from the set. While filming in Nablus, Israeli helicopter gunships launched a missile attack on a car near the film's set one day, prompting six crew members to abandon the production indefinitely. Paradise Now's location manager was kidnapped by a Palestinian faction during the shoot and was not released until Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's office intervened. The Israel Film Fund underwrites the film’s distribution in Israel. In an interview with Jewish American Tikkun magazine, Hany Abu-Assad was asked "When you look ahead now, what gives you hope?", "The conscience of the Jewish people" he answered. "The Jews have been the conscience of humanity, always, wherever they go. Not all Jews, but part of them. Ethics. Morality. They invented it! I think Hitler wanted to kill the conscience of the Jews, the conscience of humanity. But this conscience is still alive...Maybe a bit weak...But still alive. Thank God." Israeli-Jewish producer Amir Harel told reporters that "First and foremost the movie is a good work of art", adding that "If the movie raises awareness or presents a different side of reality, this is an important thing." Paradise Now was the first Palestinian film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. An earlier Palestinian film, Divine Intervention (2002), had controversially failed to gain admission to the competition, allegedly because films nominated for this award must be put forward by the government of their country, and Palestine's status as a sovereign state is disputed. However, since entities such as Puerto Rico, Hong Kong and Taiwan have been submitting entries for years although they are not sovereign states with full United Nations representation, accusations of a double standard were made. Paradise Now was submitted to the Academy and to the Golden Globes as a film from 'Palestine'. It was referred to as such at the Golden Globes. However, Israeli officials, including Consul General Ehud Danoch and Consul for Media and Public Affairs Gilad Millo, tried to extract a guarantee from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that Paradise Now would not be presented in the ceremony as representing the state of Palestine, despite the fact it was introduced as such in the Academy Awards' official website. The Academy Awards began to refer to the film's country instead as "the Palestinian Authority". This decision angered director-writer Hany Abu-Assad, who said it represented a slap in the face for the Palestinian people and their national identity. The Academy subsequently referred to it as a submission from the "Palestinian Territories". In a further complication, Israeli writer Irit Linor points out that "according to internationally accepted conventions, the nationality of a film is usually determined by the country that invested in it - and that while the film was categorized by the Academy as representing Palestine, it was produced with European funds, by an Israeli-Arab director." On March 1, 2006, a group representing Israeli victims of suicide bombings asked the Oscar organizers to disqualify the film. These protesters claimed that showing the film was immoral and encouraged killing civilians in terror acts. Film critic Irit Linur described the film as a "quality Nazi film". Lubna Azabal won the 2007 Jerusalem Film Festival's "Most Promising Actress" award for Strangers. Strangers opens in Berlin during the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Rana Sweid (Lubna Azabal), a Palestinian from Ramallah currently living in Paris, meets Eyal Goldman (Liron Levo), an Israeli who grew up on a kibbutz, after they accidentally switch bags on a train. They eventually strike up a friendship and decide to watch the World Cup together. Their budding romance is cut short when Rana is mysteriously called back to France and asks Eyal to stop seeing her. Despite her request, he seeks her in France. They are then faced with the 2006 Lebanon War as Eyal is drafted by the Israel Defense Forces."]
  • Janet McTeer as Dame Julia Walsh, the head of MI6.
  • Katherine Parkinson as Rachel Stein, Ephra's wife.
  • Tobias Menzies as Nathaniel Bloom, Nessa's personal bodyguard.
  • Eve Best as Monica Chatwin, a British Foreign Office tactician working in Washington
  • Kike Yigal Naor as Shlomo Zahary, an Kikestani businessman and surrogate uncle to Nessa and Ephra. He previously played a Muslim imam and Saddam Hussein.

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