‘Screwdriver’ explores the impact of long-term isolation

A still from the film. (Image supplied)
Updated 11 September 2018

‘Screwdriver’ explores the impact of long-term isolation

  • A stoic and impressive performance by Bakri helps the movie transcend the blurred lines between hallucination and reality

VENICE: Set in Palestine, Bassam Jarbawi’s “Screwdriver” is a compelling story of what torture and isolation can do to a person — in this case Zaid (played by Zaid Bakri), a former basketball champion.
Showcased at the Venice film festival last week, the film revolves around Zaid, whose long incarceration in an Israeli jail shatters his self-esteem and turns him into a psychological wreck.
When Zaid’s best friend, Ramzi, is shot dead by a sniper in the West Bank, he is livid and takes up a gun to kill an Israeli passerby. Arrested and thrown into jail, and abandoned by his friends, Zaid feels a suffocating sense of loneliness and rejection by a society that he was such an integral part of.
His ultimate homecoming after 15 years seems like an exercise in futility, and he feels that his once-upon-a-time friends are merely trying to erase their own guilt — at having forsaken Zaid — by celebrating his return, while an attractive television reporter wants to capitalize on the opportunity that his story can offer. He realizes that he is not even able to connect with his mother, let alone his friends. It is only his admirer, Salma (Maya Omaia Keesh), who appears to have a genuine fondness for him.
A stoic and impressive performance by Bakri helps the movie transcend the blurred lines between hallucination and reality, between a psychological thriller and a social drama, while the narrative provides deep insight into what long-term imprisonment can do to a person.
A time comes when Zaid reacts with rage and panic to the situation he finds himself in, until he finds it difficult to differentiate between fact and fiction.


TWITTER POLL: Majority believes Hezbollah will be convicted of 2005 Hariri assassination

Updated 13 August 2020

TWITTER POLL: Majority believes Hezbollah will be convicted of 2005 Hariri assassination

DUBAI: A special UN-backed tribunal is set to announce its verdict on the 2005 murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri on Aug. 18 – and an Arab News Twitter poll showed majority thinks Hezbollah will be convicted.

Four alleged members of the Shiite group are on trial for the Beirut suicide bombing in 2005 that killed Hariri.

Arab News asked on Twitter whether the tribunal will convict the four, and out of 725 respondents, 64.6 percent said yes. The defendants will face life imprisonment if convicted.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) was going to announce the verdict on Friday, but had to postpone because of the deadly explosion at the Beirut port.

The court “is deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic events that shook Lebanon” and “expresses its solidarity with the Lebanese people in these difficult times,” it said in a statement announcing the ruling’s postponement.

STL is believed to be the first international tribunal set up to probe terrorist crimes.