Ziad Doueiri’s (The Attack, SFF 2013) thrilling, Oscar-nominated legal drama explores festering historical, political and religious divisions in his native Lebanon.
When Palestinian Muslim foreman Yasser installs a new drainpipe on Lebanese Christian Tony’s balcony without his permission, Tony’s dislike of Palestinians leads to what appears to be a minor disagreement. But insults are hurled, and the situation soon escalates out of control. What begins with a petty argument leads to a highly publicised trial that captivates a nation, and also gives a range of people an opportunity to settle old scores. Doueiri masterfully takes this private clash of wills as a starting point to explore historic rifts amongst Lebanese communities, and the aftermath of the civil war. Intelligently using humour and pathos, The Insult is ultimately a plea for empathy, forgiveness and peace.
Undeniably exhilarating! A fascinating and honest assessment of the never-ending conflict between decency and cruelty that rages in every nation, neighbourhood and heart. – A.O. Scott, The New York Times