Written by Israeli playwright Ilan Hatsor in 1990, Masked tells the story of a Palestinian family during the beginnings of the Intifada. Violence between uprising Palestinians and Israeli troops sets the scene for an examination of loyalty, brotherhood and the results of war.
Four brothers represent what can crudely be described as wartime lifestyle choices, or lack thereof, as is the case with the youngest, an innocent 7-year-old shooting victim (who never appers on stage). Khalid (Sanjit De Silva) is 18 and headed into membership with the Palestinian resistance, though he is torn between feelings for his two older brothers: Na’im (Arian Moayed), a strong member of the resistance, and Daoud (Daoud Heidami), a householder with a young son, who works in an Israeli restaurant and does surprisingly well for himself financially. Conflict arises when leaders of the resistance accuse Daoud of being a traitor, and Na’im sides with the accusers. A thoroughly human though sometimes ugly picture of the two men emerges as Na’im seeks the truth from Daoud, ushering in the beginnings of a brutal adulthood for the still-naïve Khalid.
In their roles as traitor and terrorist, Na’im and Daoud are as fully human and justified in their actions as they can possibly be. The scenes between the wonderful Arian Mayed and Daoud Heidami are well played — strong and unsentimental. As a comment on war, and mankind in general — which was the playwright’s proclaimed intention here — Hatsor deserves credit for putting blood (literally) on every character’s hands.