Pomegranates and Myrrh ★★★

Intimate, realistic, bittersweet, quiet, slow-paced, and symbolically charged film that sometimes fails to be engaging. The storytelling is relatively conventional, and the story is somewhat uneven and not always easy to follow. More often than not, the acting is natural and the characters are believable; Yasmine Elmasri gives a nuanced portrayal of Kamar, the woman at the center of the story; Hiam Abbass shines as the spirited cafe owner Umm Habib, and the most memorable scene in the movie is the one in which her character confronts a group of Israeli soldiers. Promising feature-film directorial debut by writer/director Najwa Najjar.