Poignant, humorous, and exquisitely realized, Randa Chahal-Sabbag’s The Kite follows the plight of a beautiful and carefree Lebanese girl named Lamia (Flavia Bechara) who, after recklessly tempting fate by briefly trespassing into the mined, Israeli-controlled heavily militarized buffer zone in order to retrieve her kite, is ruled by her village council to be prepared for marriage. Fated to marry a young man from the village to whom she was promised in her youth but whose family had ended up on the other side of the annexed territory, the prospective bride and groom’s families – unable to meet in person – resort to transacting their wedding arrangements by shouting into megaphones within earshot of the patrolling Israeli soldiers who, while sympathetic to the families’ plights, are compelled by duty to transcribe the personal (and often intimate) details communicated about the young couple for intelligence gathering. Granted a one-time passage through the buffer zone in order to begin a new life (and loveless marriage of convenience) with a complete stranger, Lamia soon longs for escape. Although occasionally lapsing into heavy-handed, highly stylized symbolism that breaks the natural realism and lyrical tone of the film, The Kite is nevertheless a provocative and sincere portrait of the tragic absurdity of territoriality and arbitrarily imposed borders.
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