Blu-ray Review: MIRAL

J.C. De Leon

by: J.C. De Leon
July 12th, 2011

The struggle of the Palestinians isn’t something I pretend to know anything about. Maybe that makes me an ignorant American, but it’s just not something I’ve ever been able to take the time to fully understand. Julian Schnabel’s MIRAL is a beautifully shot film that takes a look at one side of the conflict in the Middle East. As beautifully and well-shot as this film is, it’s best understood if you know a lot about the content being displayed on screen. It’s one that is best appreciated that way, but it isn’t completely necessary to have a working knowledge of Israeli politics to fully appreciate this film.

Freida Pinto (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE) plays the titular Miral. The film is based on the novel and screenplay written by Rula Jebreal, and is semi-autobiographical on portions of her life. The tale revolves around the formation of an all-girls school for Palestinian refugees, established and run by Hind al-Husseini (Hiam Abass). Miral was a young girl given to Hind by her father after her mother had committed suicide. Some of the story also focuses on the troubled women in Miral’s family. Miral’s mother Nadia was an abuse victim who had become an alcoholic, and her aunt Fatima was jailed for attempting to bomb a movie theater.

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It’s a controversial film that only looks at one side of a conflict, but it’s a film that will make the viewer want to increase their understanding of a problem that is very widespread in a land other than our own. You don't have to have a political science degree to appreciate this film, but it is a beautiful look at a world far from our own. The Blu-ray has a decent amount of extras, including a commentary by the director in which he and producer Jon Kilik serve to provide answers to questions that viewers might have concerning the motivations of the story being told. There is also an in-depth Q&A featuring cast and crew after a screening.

Official list of extras:

-Audio Commentary
-Deleted Scenes
-The Making of Miral
-Julian Schnabel Studio Tour
-Filmmaker Q&A

Movie Grade: B-
Extras Grade: B+

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