The Western bourgeois propaganda machine marketed the surrender arrangements that Yasser Arafat and his cronies made unilaterally with the Israeli side in Oslo 1993 as a historic achievement for the American administration and a peace for the brave. The Swedish Academy was quick to crown the signatories (Arafat and Rabin) with its famous prize, the “Nobel for Peace”, which was also awarded, in a philosophical irony, to the likes of Anwar Sadat and Barack Obama. Of course, we now know the catastrophic consequences of those arrangements and the distortions inflicted upon the cause of the people of Palestine by them. But the details of Oslo have always remained carefully hidden behind a thick veil of secrecy, whether in terms of the roots of Arafat and his team’s relations with Israeli and American parties since an early time, before the secret channel was launched, or the nature of what was actually signed in Oslo, including the “secret clauses.” To this day, it is overshadowed by an atmosphere resembling a sinful infidelity relationship outside marriage, while the Americans were then continuing the play of public, official, multilateral negotiations in Washington where the Palestinian negotiating team – coming from the occupied territories in agreement with the Palestine Liberation Organization – played the role of the deceived husband alone.
This paradox / paradox between the high fame of the Oslo event versus its absolute secrecy created a possible space for the dramatic imagination to soar in its atmosphere with eternal warnings of the accusation of pre-alignment linked to the background of the imagination, whether Jew / Israeli or Palestinian / Arab. Rogers – an inexperienced American screenwriter without creativity – discovered this contradiction, and decided to storm the international drama market with a theatrical work that records Oslo – no less – with all the potential of that moment in both comedy and tragedy. The play he actually presented in 2016 was a disappointment, although it won an award for political reasons undoubtedly: a mere commercial echo of the official narrative marketed by the parties involved, and a sampling view that did not deviate one iota from the super-flat Hollywood formula for everything related to the image of the conflict. Palestinian Hebrew, and a well-deserved missed opportunity for an in-depth philosophical discussion, whether of the background of the event, its internal contradiction, or even its consequences.
However, HBO, which is trying to match Netflix in producing works that address a global audience, not just an American one, signed a contract with Rogers to turn the play into a movie, which it entrusted to direct to Bartlett Sher. It assigned the well-known Zionist director Steven Spielberg – by virtue of his supposed knowledge of the dimensions of the conflict – to co-supervise his production, and invited well-known faces to present the main roles in it.
The scenario attempted to personalize the Oslo event and separate it from the political/historical context
According to the tape (119 d), the Norwegian couple, Mona Jules (Ruth Wilson), a diplomat in her country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Terje Roed Larsen (Andrew Scott), sociologist and director of the FAFO Research Center – after a stormy visit to the inflamed Gaza Strip – They were infected with something like a religious taint and decided in December 1992 to launch a campaign to open the door to direct Israeli-Palestinian talks on neutral ground and under a cover of secrecy, after the public negotiations that emerged from the Madrid Peace Conference and lasted for two years (1992-1993) failed to achieve No progress mentioned. This alleged pseudo-religious taint confused the plot of the film from beginning to end, and was unable to provide a (convincing) justification for the tireless struggle of the spouses, either to launch negotiations initially or to ensure their continuity in the future.
After the (unconvincing) reluctance of the Israeli and Arafat sides, and maneuvers about formalities, the level of representation, and preparatory meetings, characterized by a lot of technical disgrace, the negotiators (for the Liberation Organization) meet Salim Daw as Ahmed Qurei, Arafat’s finance director, and Walid Zuaiter as Hassan Asfour, an officer. Arafat’s call) in a historic palace on the outskirts of the Norwegian capital Oslo, and they engage in several rounds of negotiating (undisguised) debates, and empty (undisguised) speeches separated by stations of drunkenness, arrogance, eating delicacies and exchanging gloves, as well as claiming that contacts were made with Tunisia (where Arafat is based). and Tel Aviv, with the aim of reaching a consensus on a declaration of principles regulating something gelatinous that the film cannot describe, and it is technically called the “peace” process.
The tape – with the exception of rare scenes – is a distasteful stalemate that provokes boredom between the (negotiating) debate sessions and those evenings, including the arrogant speeches of the two parties, and they are forever trapped in empty closed rooms. .
The suffocating scenario was reflected in the performance of the actors – without exception – and the way they expressed and claimed to appear in a position of anger or tension, so it was very fake, and they completely failed to communicate with the recipient, and for the two hours they remained prisoners of personalities that converge within two dimensions without any significant depth. As for the script, culturally and socially anemic, Rogers tried to make up for it through piles of cliches and vulgar jokes that added frailty to the work, while the lackluster soundtrack didn’t salvage the situation or even fill in the spaces between sessions.
The failure of the larger scenario and its scandalous lack of responsibility was in its attempt to personify the Oslo event and separate it from the political/historical context, which cannot in any way be overlooked from a work related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the core like this, and then the spontaneous tendency of the film – as usual in American culture – to polish the characters And the whitewashing of its positions and humanization in exchange for the emotionality, absurdity, and crudeness of the Palestinian personalities, and the presentation of the white European as the rational, impartial and savior of all from misguidance in the maze of permanent confrontation in the Middle East, with the national issue of the Palestinian people reduced to the level of reaching a magical solution to 100 years of conflict and the discovery of Palestinian and Israeli negotiators Their two daughters have the same name, Maya. Therefore, the image presented by the film seems strange, biased, very limited, riddled with holes and blind spots, and is unable to satisfy any type of viewer. Those familiar with the Palestinian cause – Arabs and Israelis – will quickly find that the film is a caricature that does not resemble the reality of Oslo and its men in anything, and the new scenes on the conflicts in the region will never understand the position of the Oslo negotiations from history or the present, while those interested in the efficiency of cinematic work as a pure art will find that they would like the film to end quickly after The first ten minutes.
The movie “Oslo”, which is strongly aligned with the Israeli side, presents a naive, childish image of the negotiation process, its narrative lacks the slightest components of dramatic suspense, its characters are hollow and lacking in depth, and the performance of its actors ranges between fabrication and fabrication. With all that, he has only one virtue left: his genius timing at this pivotal moment of conflict. It is a melancholy reminder of the roots of the treacherous situation that produced the cancer of security coordination called “authority” and crippled the struggle of the Palestinian people. We paid dearly for the Arafatist whim of Oslo. And we will continue to pay for the foreseeable future, and Rogers did not succeed – and no one else will succeed – in repairing the image of what was corrupted by “The Choice” (the name of endearment that some of them called the late Arafat).
Oslo on HBO