The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, June 10-16

06/10/2015 5:00 AM |

the wanted 18

The Wanted 18 (2014)
Directed by Paul Cowan and Amer Shomali
Scored to a lovely, plaintive soundtrack by Benoît Charest (The Triplets of Belleville), The Wanted 18 tells a true story with the deadpan surrealism of a classic fable. The cows of the title were bought by a Palestinian collective looking to establish their independence from Israel during the first intifada by producing and distributing their own milk, and were then hunted by Israeli troops for “undermining Israeli security.” The film combines animation, live-action reenactments, archival footage and simple but elegant visual metaphors, like a paper airplane folded by a pair of hands in one shot and thrown to the talking head in another to symbolize the clandestine flow of information. Its point of view shifts between a mordantly funny voiceover by co-director and illustrator Shomali, beautifully shot interviews with many key players, and the cows themselves, whose increasingly hopeless situation (“We’ve been betrayed—by both Israelis and Palestinians!” says one) becomes a metaphor for the plight of the Palestinians. Elise Nakhnikian (June 13, 6:30pm at the Film Society of Lincoln Center as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival)