By Symi Rom-Rymer
I always thought that musicals could save the world if only given the chance. And thanks to Ari Sandel, I see I’m not alone. In only 22 minutes and a good dose of hummus, West Bank Story (2006 Oscar winner for best short film) manages to achieve what George Mitchell has not: peace in the Middle East. In an irreverent homage to West Side Story–with nods to Fiddler on the Roof and Queer Eye–Jewish employees at the Kosher King and the Palestinian employees at the Hummus Hut— sing, dance (and snap) as they lob insults and blow up each other’s restaurants in the West Bank. Meanwhile, star-crossed lovers pine for each other. Will the love between Fatima, the comely Hummus Hut counter girl, and David, the handsome Israeli soldier, conquer all? Will Jews and Muslims move to Beverly Hills to live in peace? Grab a falafel and find out for yourself.
The next showing will be on the Sundance Channel, February 9, 11:30pm
Symi Rom-Rymer writes and blogs about Jewish and Muslim communities in the US and Europe. She has been published in JTA, The Christian Science Monitor and Jewcy.