Middle East and Israel in Film University of Wyoming Fall 2015 Class Awards (Torrys)

This year I am naming this award in memory of Robert Torry. Bob died in 2013. He and Paul Flesher taught a course on Film and Religion for many years and published a book on the subject. Bob was awarded UW’s Ellbogen Lifetime Teaching Award in 2011. –SW

The University of Wyoming offered a course entitled Middle East and Israel in Film for Fall 2015. As in past years, the final class included a discussion of awards in various categories. Students were sent a list of films screened and/or discussed in class; some additional categories were proposed by students. Nominations were made at our final class meeting, before screening Kazablan in its entirety (portions only were screened early in the course). Voting was done after the film screening. Nominees for each category are listed; winners are asterisked and underlined.

 

MOST IMPORTANT FILM

***Wadjda

Trembling before G-d

Broken Wings

Borrowed Identity

A Separation

 

BEST VILLAIN

***Uncle in Bliss

Headmaster in Wadjda

Viviane Amsalem in Gett

Prison master in Blessed is the Match

 

BEST HERO

Paul Newman in Exodus

***Wadjda in Wadjda

Professor in Bliss

Hannah Senesh in Blessed is the Match

 

BEST MOVIE (NON-ISRAELI)

Wadjda

***Where do we go Now?

Exodus

A Separation

 

BEST ISRAELI MOVIE

Zero Motivation

Bethlehem

Gett

Borrowed Identity

Broken Wings

The Attack

***Kazablan[1]

 

BEST COMEDY

Zero Motivation

***Where do we go Now?

West Bank Story

 

BEST DRAMA

Separation

Broken Wings

***Gett

Wadjda

 

MOST HEART-WRENCHING SCENE

***Where Maryam realized who abused her in Bliss

Taha Killed in Exodus

Maya Singing Solo in Studio in Broken Wings

 

MOST HEARTWARMING SCENE

***Fireworks scene at end of Wadjda

Hitchhiking scene at end of Broken Wings

Ending scene in Where do we go Now?

 

BEST COUPLE

***Wajda and Abdulla in Wadjda

Fatima and David in West Bank Story

Eyad and Naomi in A Borrowed Identity

 

BEST MUSIC

Bliss

Exodus

***Where do we go Now?

West Bank Story

 

BEST SONG

***The baking song in Where do we go Now?

Kosher king Hummus Hut song in West Bank Story[2]

“Offensive Song” in Borrowed Identity

Maya’s Song in Broken Wings

 

BEST USE OF SILENCE AND/OR MUSIC

*** Face-staring in Gett

Exodus

Song scene with Muhammad Abdel Wahab in Ghazal al-Banat

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Children of Heaven

***Gett

Trembling before G-d

 

MOST ACCURATE HISTORICALLY

***Blessed is the Match

West Beirut

Gett

Bethlehem

Waltz with Bashir

 

MOST SURPRISING MOMENT

Nassim killed in Where do we go Now?

***Stepmother scene in Bliss

Maryam’s breakdown scene in Bliss

Husband has divorce document in hand but refuses to give it in Gett

Ending of Bethlehem

 

FAVORITE SCENE

Fireworks Scene in Wajda

Shredded Paper scene in Zero Motivation

*** Russian girl with gun in Zero Motivation

Studio Solo Singing Broken Wings

Maryam and Jamal sitting on the rocks in Bliss

Grave Scene in Borrowed Identity

 

 

We ran out of time for these suggested categories:

 

BEST PICTURE

BEST FEMALE CHARACTER

BEST MALE CHARACTER

WORST COUPLE

BEST ACTOR/ACTRESS

BEST SOCIAL PERSPECTIVE

 

——

FILMS SEEN OR DISCUSSED

Broken Wings

Bliss

Gett: The trial of Viviane Amsalem

West Bank Story

Blessed is the Match (The Hannah Senesh Movie)

Where do we go Now?

Ghazal al-Banat

Wadjda

Exodus

Zero Motivation

A Borrowed Identity

A Separation

West Beirut

Bethlehem

Trembling before G-d

Kazablan

 

Many of us saw other films that were discussed in class:

The Square

Caramel

Waltz With Bashir

Cupcakes

Children of Heaven

The Attack

 

 

 

[1] Kazablan was screened after the nominations but before the voting. Student voters (unsurprisingly!) said they would have voted for Kazablan over the films they nominated.

[2] Students debated several songs in West Bank Story for this category; it was decided to put this song up for the category.

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