Haifa Street (2019) Review: An Agonizing Work of Art

Haifa Street movie makes you wish it never existed, and the cast propels you amid a difficult situation. The cast includes Asaad Abdul Majeed, Iman Abdulhasan and Redhab Ahmad. It’s the recipient of multiple awards and nominations in the Busan International Film Festival (2019) and the Cairo International Film Festival among others.

Haifa Street review does not contain any spoilers

Haifa Street deserves all the accolades and recognition

The director, Mohanad Hayal, has assembled a fine cast for his movie. The sniper takes us through the film with a quiet yet intense and strong presence that is very affecting. Like the other characters in this movie, he seems to be living an impossible situation—the role of the sniper with an inextricable depth and quiet strength that drives the movie home.

The movie is fast-paced and feels urgent and real. The camera work is gritty and handheld but in a controlled way that works with the narrative. There are many tense scenes where the camera is right there. You feel like you should be ducking even if you know it’s just a movie.

Haifa Street (2019) Review: An Agonizing Work of Art

Another thing I liked about this film was how it ended. There are no easy answers here, no neat tie-ups of every story thread in a bow. Watch this movie if you want to get a sense of how chaotic, demented, and terrifying warfare can be.

The film follows a few different stories that intersect in various ways, mainly with the war and its impact on people. The violence is brutal and unrelenting. The film is extremely intense and hard to watch at times, but also decisive. It’s worth seeing the performances and unique perspectives on how war affects everyone involved.

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The carnage depicted in Haifa Street is a testament to the human spirit

Haifa Street is a great movie, but it’s also really intense and upsetting. The acting and directing are good, and the suspense is intense. The scenes of violence are very graphic, but they’re not there for no reason — the movie captures the reality of war. This isn’t a war movie with many big explosions and people getting shot from far away (although there’s plenty of that). This is about the impact of war on people, and through that lens, Haifa Street is incredibly realistic.

Haifa Street (2019) Review: An Agonizing Work of Art

It’s also intensely dark and disturbing. Some scenes will make you cringe or even cry. It’s an emotional roller coaster. The film is exceptionally well-shot, but it’s not what I would call an enjoyable experience. It’s the kind of movie that will leave you with a lot to think about afterwards. The story is very well-developed, and the acting is superb.

Haifa Street is an Epicentre of Heartbreak and Desperation

The plot deals with a lot of things that will be familiar for anyone who’s been involved in the Iraq war on either side: the fighting, the mortar shenanigans, the all-encompassing fear of it all. The movie works with short explanations of real events from the last five years in Baghdad, like shooting down helicopters and tanks attacking them, which adds to the film’s overall experience.

This is a compelling film. It follows the protagonist through a horrific war. Artistically, it draws you in and portrays actual violence in an intimate way that is quite powerful, putting you right there with the protagonist. The acting is good, the writing is effective, and the cinematography creates such a bleak atmosphere – and it feels inescapable. I found myself fixating on it while watching because of its subject matter, but when I wasn’t watching, it stayed with me as well.

Haifa Street (2019) Review: An Agonizing Work of Art

Through convincing acting, excellent directing, and a sense of realism never experienced in any movie before or since, the audience is completely immersed in the harshness the characters have to deal with in their daily lives.

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Stream It or Skip It?

Haifa Street (2019) Review: An Agonizing Work of Art

The film has a peculiar rhythm that keeps you genuinely engaged throughout and at the same time makes your heart beat faster. This is a testament to both the writing and direction skills.

I’m sure this film won’t appeal to everyone, but if you want a realistic portrait of the effects of war, particularly on the innocent bystanders who get caught in it, I highly recommend Haifa Street.

Haifa Street is streaming on Netflix and MUBI.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

Artistically, Haifa Street draws you in and portrays actual violence in an intimate way that is quite powerful, putting you right there with the protagonist.

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Haifa Street (2019) Review: An Agonizing Work of ArtArtistically, Haifa Street draws you in and portrays actual violence in an intimate way that is quite powerful, putting you right there with the protagonist.