HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Beyond the Walls Israeli Prison Blues
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: DramaBuy from Amazon
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 clich├ęs. 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 3377 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 star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: