Under the Bombs, (15)

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The Independent Culture

In the summer of 2006, as southern Lebanon is devastated by Israeli air-raids, a mother sets out in search of her missing son, helped by a taxi-driver who seems to have his own, slightly shady agenda.

Aractingi's film gives a vivid sense of the texture of Lebanese society and the landscape that shapes it, but is much weaker on individuals and their relationships – the intimacy that slowly springs up between driver and client never quite convinces, and the film ends with a plot twist that, while perfectly defensible in real-world terms (such things surely do happen), in terms of narrative feels intrusive and manipulative.