Ido Haar's Israeli documentary about Palestinian laborers earns two stars.

9 Star Hotel

on May 25, 2007 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
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Palestinian construction workers toiling illegally in Israel while trying to stay ahead of the cops are profiled in this potentially provocative but ultimately tedious cinema verite documentary. Although the Israeli government has barred most Palestinians from entering the country to work because of terrorism concerns, Israelis are still hiring them to do the manual jobs the locals don't want to do. 9 Star Hotel , which is how the Palestinians mockingly refer to the tents and sleeping bags that make up their Spartan living arrangements, simply eavesdrops on them—their banter, their views about the Israelis they interact with and their feelings about their uncertain futures. Unfortunately, the men don't really come to life as distinct individuals and seem oblivious to the fact that their dire economic plight was caused, in large part, by their fellow Palestinians. That lack of self-reflection is indicative of this shallow film as a whole. Distributor: Koch Lorber
Director: Ido Haar
Producers: Elinor Kowarsky and Edna Kowarsky
Genre: Documentary; Hebrew- and Arabic-language, subtitled
Rating: Unrated
Running time: 78 min.
Release date: May 23, 2007 NY
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