TIFF 2014: The Wanted 18
The Wanted 18, directed by Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan, finds an extremely creative way to tell a complicated story. In 1987, the West Bank and Gaza were occupied by the Israeli military, resulting in what the Palestinian’s call an Intifada — the unarmed civilian insurgency that included protests, stone throwing, civil disobedience, and refusal to pay taxes to Israel.
When the town fathers of Beit Sahour (an epicenter for the insurgency) get the opportunity to buy 18 cows from an Israeli farmer, the town celebrates, and begin using the cows to produce milk as a sort of co-op within the town. The passion and excitement of becoming self-sustaining is a catalyst for the town as they find other industrious and creative ways to build solidarity and community.
Using a myriad of media formats to tell this story — Shomali explains he grew up on comic books — from claymation to recreation and comic book style panels, the filmmakers attempt to bring bounce, humor and flash to their film. Unfortunately, they don’t trust the dramatic elements to reveal themselves traditionally, resulting in such a clash of styles that it detracts from an already gripping and satisfying tale.
The Wanted 18 (the name the cows went by when they were considered a “threat to the national security of Israel” and hidden away) is a complex story that deserves to be heard. A resounding “E” for effort, but in the end, a muddled and frustrating affair.
Watch The Wanted 18 Trailer
Screening Times for The Wanted 18
Sat, Sep 6 8:15pm Scotiabank Theatre Scotiabank 4
Tue, Sep 9 2:30pm The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
Fri, Sep 12 5:00pm Scotiabank Theatre Scotiabank 13
Director(s): Amer Shomali, Paul Cowan
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Runtime: 75 minutes
CAST & CREDITS
Executive Producer: Ina Fichman, Colette Loumède
Producer: Ina Fichman, Saed Andoni, Dominique Barneaud, Nathalie Cloutier
Production Company: Intuitive Pictures, National Film Board of Canada, Bellota Films, Dar Films
Principal Cast: Alison Darcy, Heidi Foss, Holly Uloth O’Brien, Rosann Nerenberg
Screenplay: Paul Cowan
Cinematographer: Daniel Villeneuve, Germán Gutierrez
Animator: Amer Shomali, Michelle Lannen, Dominique Côté, Myriam Elda Arsenault
Editor: Aube Foglia
Sound: Daniel Fontaine-Bégin, Sylvain Bellemare
Music: Benoit Charest
International Sales Agent: National Film Board of Canada