Palestinian resistance fighter Omar (Adam Bakri) and Nadja (Leem Lubany), the woman he loves, in a still from the film "Omar," to be released in the United States on February 21st. (Courtesy of Adopt Films)
Hany Abu-Assad never had any formal training as a filmmaker; in fact, the Nazareth-born writer-director began his professional life as an airplane mechanic in the Netherlands. The first of his movies to be released in the United States, Paradise Now (2005), is about the recruitment and training of two friends who are aspiring suicide bombers. While he remains a controversial figure for his resolute position on Palestinian statehood, Abu-Assad is an engaging and talented artist—and his newest film, Omar, while providing an uncompromising view of Palestinian resistance and Israeli occupation, opened in Tel Aviv in January and will open in New York City on February 21st. It is an Oscar nominee in the Foreign Film category.
You can read my interview with the filmmaker in Film Journal International: http://www.filmjournal.com/filmjournal/content_display/news-and-features/features/movies/e3ied404e4ee6feeb949ff624d2e10d378a