Eyes of a Thief

This 2014 second feature by Najwa Najjar (Pomegranates and Myrrh) was completed with help from the Sundance Scriptwriting Lab and subsequently chosen to represent Palestine in the Academy Awards. Neither of these facts will surprise you if you’ve seen the movie, which is rooted in the grim realities of the Israeli occupation but plays like something that’s been workshopped with Hollywood industry types. A Palestinian sniper who killed 11 Israeli soldiers in 2002 surfaces again ten years later, learns that his wife has since died, and tracks down his young daughter, whom he befriends even as he conceals his true identity. They bond over billiards, and the newcomer strikes romantic sparks with the girl’s beautiful adoptive mother, but can tragedy be far behind? In Arabic with subtitles.