Docudrama goes all arty by mistake
Promised Land review
2nd July 2011
If you don't know the truth about sex trafficking, still less the truth about sex trafficking in Egypt and Israel, I'm not sure this will enlighten you much. It's a work of fiction, with actors in it, but it's filmed in a brutal, documentary style - especially the first half. This definitely helps it as cinema, but personally it made me even more aware that this was fiction playing fact, so I kept feeling I was being lectured at, albeit in an indirect way.
If the first half was effective enough, the second got lost in a misguided attempt to point a moral and chuck in some symbolism. A mysterious Englishwoman appears, for no apparent reason or obvious motive, and there are shots of Orthodox priests, choirs and snowy landscapes.
Not awful, then, but a bit of a hodge-podge.