Film still courtesy of Joel Fendelman
Is the small-budget gem “David” a parable for peace in the Middle East? It might — or might not — be. But in either case, it is an engaging, intelligent film that wisely resists the temptation of formulaic, diabetes-inducing sweetness or, conversely, knee-jerk bitterness.
“David,” screening December 10 at the Washington Jewish Film Festival, is set in the Borough Park and Bay Ridge sections of Brooklyn, where Orthodox Jewish and Muslim communities live together separately. The title character is really named Daud, played by the young newcomer Muatasem Mishal.
He is the son of an Imam — a good boy who observes Muslim rituals, tutors others, and spends his time studying. By contrast, his cousins wear their jeans slung low and have picked up American habits.