The Idol

Mohammed Assaf, an aspiring musician living in Gaza, sets a seemingly impossible goal: to compete on the program "Arab Idol."


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  • ★★★★½ review by Sigfred Storstrand on Letterboxd

    Kosmorama Filmfestival movie #1

    Gaza is truly a tiresome subject. A conflict which has been overexposed to us through media for countless years. War, destruction and refugees. These are some of the words that immediately pop into our heads when Gaza is mentioned. That's why The Idol is as great a refreshment as it is. It's a film in the conflict area, where conflict has little to no meaning.

    We get a story about a group of friends around 11-12 years old, much like a group of friends from the classic "The Goonies". Only that here it is not adventure that engulf them, but the music. Mohammed, the most talented of the group is the lead singer, and along with his sister, they obsessed with taking over the world by storm. Fast forward 7 years into the future, and we see Mohammed fulfilling his dream of participating in the Arab Idol competition. The movie is loosely based on a true story, so for your own sake, I advise you not to google the history behind it, for this is a film that must be experienced.

    In the western world ,Arabic music isnt well known, and for most people, its definitly not something in our usual playlists. But I can guarantee that once the sound of Mohammed's voice cuts through traditional Arab passages in song, you're going to having trouble keeping tear ducts closed. This is not because it's sad. Its because it is simply is gorgeous, on the border of magic. And during the 100 minutes the movie lasts, you will not look at Gaza as you did before. In 100 minutes everything becomes transformed a beautiful magical landscape that does not look at the big picture. But at the individual Mohammed, who through heavy resistance, breaks the barriers between Palestinians, Arabs and Israelis with his incredible gift.

  • ★★★★½ review by Alexander Båtsvik on Letterboxd

    Kosmorama Film #15

    The best film so far, really cried every time one special person was mentioned or came up during the film. Just really heartwarming.

    Was really cool that the kid who starred in the first act of the film introduced it :3

  • ★★★★ review by Alexandria on Letterboxd

    beautiful and inspiring true story. annoyingly though,the songs were not subtitles-my grandma translated them and they all fit the message so perfectly that I don’t understand why they weren’t subtitled.

  • ★★★★ review by Laerte Lustosa on Letterboxd

    Legenda minha pela Art Subs

  • ★★★★ review by Rishaad Ait El Moudden on Letterboxd

    A really well orchestrated feelgood flick. Not groundbreaking but suitably heartwarming, inspirational and engaging. You're with this all the way.

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