The Bubble (2006 film)
|Directed by||Eytan Fox|
|Produced by||Ronen Ben Tal|
|Written by||Eytan Fox
|Starring||Ohad Knoller as Noam
Alon Friedman as Yali
Daniela Virtzer as Lulu
Yousef 'Joe' Sweid as Ashraf
|Music by||Ivri Lider|
|Editing by||Yosef Grunfeld
|Distributed by||- Israel -
United King Films
- USA -
- UK -
- Germany -
pro fun media GmbH
|Release date(s)||June 29, 2006 (Israel)|
|Running time||117 mins.|
The Bubble (Hebrew: הבועה HaBuah) is a 2006 romantic drama directed by Eytan Fox telling the story of two men who fall in love, one Israeli and one Palestinian. The title of the film refers to Tel Aviv, a relatively peaceful city in a tumultuous region and the setting of the film.
Noam, a young Israeli reservist working at a checkpoint while on reserve duty, is crushed when he witnesses a Palestinian woman giving birth to a dead baby; he also locks eyes with a young Palestinian man there, Ashraf. He then gets back to Tel Aviv as he has finished his military service. There he shares a flat with another gay man, Yali, and a woman, Lulu, who works in a soap shop. The three roommates live a generally bohemian life.
Ashraf arrives at the apartment to return Noam's passport which he had dropped and left at the checkpoint. Noam takes Ashraf to the roof to look at the city skyline. They talk and Ashraf kisses Noam and they spend the night together. Soon it is agreed that Ashraf will move in with them and work in Yali's restaurant as a Jew under the name Shimi, as he could not be openly gay in the Palestinian territories like he can in the more liberal and cosmopolitan city of Tel Aviv. For a time, all goes well for the couple despite some jealousy on the part of Yali. However, Ashraf flees to his family in Nablus when he is recognized by Lulu's former boyfriend as a Palestinian. Ashraf does not return any of Noam's calls.
Noam is devastated by Ashraf's desertion, and refuses to get out of bed. When the news reports violence in Ashraf's hometown, Noam becomes worried. He and Lulu go to the West Bank identifying themselves as French television journalists and find Ahsraf at his parents' house and there the two men kiss. Ashraf's future brother-in-law, Jihad (who is a Hamas militant), sees them and repudiates him, adding that Ashraf has to marry his cousin or he will reveal his secret. Lulu and Noam leave in a hurry, but encourage Ashraf to come to their anti-occupation rave party. Ashraf shows up, and he and Noam spend another night together.
Before his sister's wedding ceremony, Ashraf tells her he is in love with a man. She angrily refuses to believe him, and Ashraf is devastated. Later, during the wedding, he overhears Jihad planning a bombing in Tel Aviv. Yali is maimed in the bombing, and will never walk again.
The next morning, Ashraf's sister is killed by stray bullets in a military raid seeking those responsible for the Tel Aviv bombing, before his very eyes. At the funeral Jihad promises revenge, telling Ashraf's father that his daughter was a martyr and will not die in vain. Jihad once again demands that Ashraf marry his cousin, revealing a poster of Ashraf's involvement with the Israeli rave. It is clear at this point that Ashraf is walled in and feels no hope of escape from his situation. His brother-in-law, Jihad, decides to avenge the death of his newlywed bride, and while creating a suicide video, Ashraf decides to take Jihad's place as a suicide bomber in Tel Aviv.
Ashraf wanders the streets of Tel Aviv with a sorrowful and blank expression. He winds up at the cafe in which he once worked. When Ashraf primes his explosive belt, Noam sees him from inside the bar where he has just bought Yali's and Lulu's dinner, and rushes out to Ashraf. Seeing Noam, Ashraf walks away from the bar to the middle of the street. As Noam approaches, Ashraf turns to face him. The two stare at each other and start to kiss when the bomb explodes, killing them both. The news report that Ashraf avoided more death by suddenly turning away from the cafe into the empty street. The film ends with Noam talking about the love the two shared, wondering whether they ever had a chance, wishing for a place where they can just love each other, and hoping that people will see "how stupid these wars are," over a scene of young Noam and young Ashraf playing together as children in Jerusalem, their mothers sitting side by side.
- Ohad Knoller as Noam
- Yousef (Joe) Sweid as Ashraf
- Daniela Virtzer as Lulu
- Alon Friedman as Yali
- Zohar Liba as Golan
- Ruba Blal as Rana
- Shredy Jabarin as Jihad
Critical reception 
The film received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 51% out of 39 professional critics gave the film a positive review, with a rating average of 5.8/10. The public gave the film an 84% approval rating.
- Eytan Fox has admitted that the film might have been prompted by his memory of falling in love with a Palestinian man when he was going through his military service, when he was eighteen, although he did not follow this through.
- The film was originally meant to be entitled Romeo and Julio in reference to Romeo and Juliet, but it was changed to The Bubble after Eytan Fox was told it would sound like a porn movie.
- Lubitow, Adam (2007-06-20). "Review of "The Bubble"". AfterElton.com. Retrieved 2007-06-21.
- The Bubble (Ha Buah) - Rotten Tomatoes
- Têtu, July–August 2007 issue, page 24