O Jerusalem | Chicago Reader

O Jerusalem

Based on Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre's book about the founding of Israel, this bloated 2006 historical epic flatlines early and never regains a pulse. A Jewish-American veteran of World War II (J.J. Feild) and his Jerusalem-born Arab buddy (Said Taghmaoui) leave New York for Palestine in the waning days of the British mandate and find themselves on opposite sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Screenwriters Elie Chouraqui and Didier Le Pecheur bind the cast with too much exposition, then unleash a torrent of overblown dialogue. Ian Holm is awful as Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion, and Tovah Feldshuh doesn't fare much better as Golda Meir, despite having played her onstage. Chouraqui directed. In English and subtitled Hebrew and Arabic. R, 102 min.


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