Magazine article Screen International

Ziad Doueiri, the Attack

Magazine article Screen International

Ziad Doueiri, the Attack

Article excerpt

Ziad Doueiri's The Attack, a drama about a Palestinian surgeon in Israel who discovers secrets about his wife in the wake of a suicide bombing, impressed the critics when it launched in Telluride and Toronto last year.

Earlier this year the drama was banned in Doueiri's native country Lebanon. It opens on Jun 21 in the US through Cohen Media Group. Doueiri talks to Michael Rosenkrantz about binging on Israeli cinema, working with Quentin Tarantino and what he plans to do about the Lebanese ban.

What was your filmmaking career like before The Attack?

Ziad Doueiri I came to the United States and went to San Diego State University. After I graduated, I was looking for work and eventually became a technician on a Roger Corman film. That's really how it always starts, to be completely honest. You have to start small and grow, really building up your contacts. It's very important in the American film industry. That's how I got my first job.

Before you began directing, you worked on a few films with Quentin Tarantino. What was that like?

It was all about craftsmanship. He has such an energy and a charisma with actors. He carries a very special energy that really affects everyone that happens to be working that day. I was really a technician when I did that film, but he is so dedicated to the craft that it made for a great and memorable experience.

In leading up to directing The Attack, when did you decide to direct?

After Jackie Brown. I was tired of being a technician and wanted to express myself more creatively. I was very lucky that I did a film called West Beirut, which ultimately went to Cannes. It was basically my first start as a filmmaker.

When did The Attack first come together?

The Attack really came from the Doha Film Institute. They wanted to make films that came from the Middle East. They really wanted to bring in Middle Eastern filmmakers and they ended up financing the film. …

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