Archive of films The Band's Visit / Bikur hatizmoret

Israel / France
2007, 90 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2007

A tale about a police band from Egypt who are supposed to perform in Israel during the opening of an Arab cultural centre and, since no-one is there to meet them at the airport, they have to fend for themselves in this unfamiliar environment. The story is told with irresistible humour and a knack for observing the specific traits of both ethnicities. This debut by the young filmmaker won the FIPRESCI award at Cannes in the category Un Certain Regard.


It was not long ago that a small Egyptian police band came to Israel to play at the ceremonial opening of an Arab cultural centre. Unfortunately whether due to bureaucracy, an unfortunate accident, or just bad luck, no one arrived to collect the band from the airport. There was nothing left for the musicians to do but to fend for themselves, and they ended up in an Israeli desert town in the middle of nowhere. A group of musicians stranded in a lost town. The story seemed so insignificant that nowadays hardly anyone remembers it. Young director and screenwriter Eran Kolirin tells the story of the band that everyone forgot about with such disarming humour that his first film, included at Cannes this year in the Un Certain Regard section, not only earned the audience’s enthusiastic applause but was also appreciated by both the FIPRESCI jury, which gave it the International Critics’ Award, and the Youth Jury, whose award it also took home.

About the director

Eran Kolirin (b. 1973, Tel Aviv) wrote screenplays for the television serials Shabatot VeHagim (1999) and Meorav Yerushalmi (2003). A year later he wrote and directed a feature film The Long Journey, which however was only presented at screenings of Israeli films. The Band’s Visit is thus considered his first distributed film.

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Another View
Director: Eran Kolirin
Screenplay: Eran Kolirin
Dir. of Photography: Shai Goldman
Music: Habib Shehadeh Hanna
Editor: Arik Lahav Leibovitz
Producer: Eilon Ratzkovsky, Ehud Bleiberg, Yossi Uzrad, Koby Gal-Raday, Guy Jacoel
Production: July August Productions
Cast: Sasson Gabai, Ronit Elkabetz, Saleh Bakri, Khalifa Natour, Imad Jabarin


Eran Kolirin

Film Director

Eilon Ratzkovsky



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