MAYOR – A DVD and Digital HD Review by John Strange
Most Americans I know don’t truly know much about Palestine and the conditions under which the Palestinian people live. What they know comes to them largely from two sources, the journalists who report from that area of the world and, honestly, the Israelis. The film is slanted more in favor of the Palestinians over the Israelis.
But is this a true picture of the situation in that region of the world? Director David Osit brings us the story of Ramallah’s Mayor, the Honorable Musa Hadid, following him for a period that appears to be several months. We watch the mayor deal with issues that would see American mayors tearing their hair out and then quitting in a huff. Mayor Hadid fights daily to keep his city intact and moving forward despite soldiers coming through and basically ignoring the rights and property of the citizens.
This is an interesting film about an area of the world I want to know more about. Does it do what it set out to do? I am honestly not sure.
What I think Director Osit was shooting for was to give us the facts about conditions in Ramallah. With, perchance, a chance to identify with the citizens of the region. But does he or anyone in the film have an idea of how to fix the problems of the region? Apparently not, because nothing is presented.
Do I have a better opinion of the people of Ramallah? Yes, I do. Do I feel that the mayor is beating his head against the wall of Israeli will to hold every inch of ground they currently control? Again, yes, I do.
Will this film change anything? In my opinion, no. Why? Because we are looking at two proud peoples who have historical roots in the land and one of them has the upper hand and isn’t willing to let go. One day, I fear, the region will explode again into outright warfare as the two groups grapple for control.
The film is well made though it does seem to jump from Christmas to Easter with no explanation. The videos are shot primarily on handheld cameras, journalist-style run-and-gun, with many issues keeping the camera focused on the subject of the moment.
The run-and-gun style works for the way the director is trying to show how Mayor Hadid is constantly on the go; in meetings or dealing with problems within the city with some time with his family. There is more chaos in the storyline than I would have preferred but I think that was the filmmaker’s intent. He wanted us to see how chaotic the average day is for Ramallah’s mayor.
I based the rating for the audio on the run-and-gun shooting more so than the sedate meeting or office footage. The fact that we are busy reading the captions left us with less time to listen closely to the speeches.
On one final note, the film portrays the citizens of Ramallah as Christians and Muslims rather than just Muslims. This was perhaps the most interesting fact that I came away from the film with. I have only seen Palestinians portrayed as members of the Muslim faith in the past.
• David Osit
• Musa Hadid
• Commentary by Director David Osit
• Deleted Scenes
• 89 Minutes
• 89+ Minutes (Not provided to reviewer)
• Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
• A/1 (U.S. and Canada only)
• English, Arabic with English Subtitles
• MAYOR Trailer
• 3 Stars
Bonus Features Rating:
• No Rating (Not provided to reviewer)
Picture Quality Rating:
• 3 Stars
Audio Quality Rating:
• 4 Stars
Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars: Should add to your DVD collection at any cost
4 Stars: Worth owning, but try to catch it a sale
3 Stars: Plan to get it, but wait to buy it used
2 Stars: Worth taking a look at, but not owning
1 Star: Pick it up at a garage sale and use it for drinks
0 Stars: Makes a great Trap Shooting target