HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen
Porky’s II: The Next Day
It Happened Here
Giant from the Unknown
211
Top of the Bill
Set It Off
No Way Out
Traffik
Pitch Perfect 3
Insidious: The Last Key
Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, The
Dirty Carnival, A
King of Hearts
Crowhurst
And the Same to You
Racer and the Jailbird
Superman and the Mole-Men
Phantom Thread
Sweet Country
Loophole
Irma La Douce
Brigsby Bear
Wish Upon
Gringo
Finding Vivian Maier
Shape of Water, The
Lady Bird
Endless, The
Universal Soldier: The Return
   
 
Newest Articles
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
   
 
  Beyond the Walls Israeli Prison BluesBuy this film here.
Year: 1984
Director: Uri Barbash
Stars: Arnon Badok, Mohammed Bakri, Assi Dayan, Rami Danon, Boaz Sharabi, Adib Jahschan, Roberto Pollak, Haim Shinar, Naffi Salach, David Kedem, Dana Katz, Yussuf Abed A'Nur, Ali Al'Azaari, Eliezer Albala, Yeuda Cohen, Ramzi Esmar, Rami Livneh, Yardena Arazi
Genre: Drama
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Israel's Central Prison, and the inmates are divided into two factions much as the wider society in the nation is, with Israeli criminals who have carried out such activities as armed robbery or rape mixing with Palestinians who have been given sentences for what are termed terrorist offences against the Israelis. When Uri (Arnon Badok), one of the Jewish criminals, arrives back from a home visit, he is prepared with a medical examination and strip search, but seizes an opportunity to make trouble and grabs the medic, holding a scalpel to his throat - sadly, Uri fits right in here.

Beyond the Walls caused a stir when it was first released, though it has been largely forgotten now, for saying something provocative about the Arab-Israeli conflict. Essentially they used the prison setting as one of those microcosms for the community at large, not a new idea but an easy one to make its point, which was the authorities had more than an interest in keeping the troubles going to sustain their hold over the citizens, be they Israeli or Palestinian. Naturally, to say this situation created friction was an understatement, and so it was here we saw the Jewish prisoners and Arab inmates at loggerheads.

What upsets them even more is the introduction of a complicating factor: a Jewish man, Assaf, convicted of assisting the Palestinians leaving both sides uncertain of how to regard him. That Assaf was played by Assi Dayan, who was the son of the Israeli government chief of staff Moshe Dayan, was even more provocative, and the cast was somewhat groundbreaking for the region for mixing the Arabs and Jews in its cast, rendering this a statement in itself that there was the possibility for the antagonists to get on and come up with something productive instead of blowing each other up, which is how their behaviour came across to outsiders at the time, and sadly for some time afterwards.

All of which is not to say Beyond the Walls, or Me'Ahorei Hasoragim as it was originally known, was a particularly accomplished work dramatically, as it tended to lean on the didactic end of the political filmmaking scale, and you could imagine audiences getting a little tired of its relentless grimness with its depictions of assaults and prisoners cracking under the strain. At least those prisoners were well-delineated so you were unlikely to get them mixed up, from the three leads - one of Palestine's most celebrated actors Mohammed Bakri took the role of Issan, leader of the Arab faction - to the supporting actors, be they the shaven-headed, giggling drug addict or the chap who is accompanied everywhere with his pet bird.

This was undeniably heavy handed, but sometimes such works needed to be to get their message across, and by using the well-worn tropes of the prison movie you could argue that message got a little lost in the clichés. The conspiracy-minded would appreciate the depiction of the warden and his security as corrupt, but there were other elements which marked it out as somewhat different to the accustomed jailhouse drama, such as the singing contest which one inmate enters, leading his tune to be performed on live television from the prison itself. That tune becomes important in the very last scene, making for an interesting endorsement of the power of music in the lives of the incarcerated - when their radios are taken away as punishment, there's nearly a riot when they cannot bear to be without the songs which help to pass the time. By the point a plot has developed to frame the Arabs for murder to instil more unrest, the conspiracy is well underway, and if Beyond the Walls was crude, you did get the idea. Music by Ilan Virtzberg.

[This film is available on blinkbox, a service providing hundreds of movies and television episodes without subscription, just a one off payment to either rent or buy your choice. You can watch blinkbox on your SmartTV, Xbox 360, iPad, Blu-rays, Set-top boxes, PC or Mac or TV connected to your PC or Mac. Click here for the details.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 837 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
   

 

Last Updated: