Free Zone ★★½ 2005
Three women with ethnic ties to the Middle East converge in Jordan and become traveling companions for dissimilar reasons. An American with Israeli roots, Rebecca (Portman) kicks things off with a 10-minute crying jag in a cab by the Wailing Wall, though her sorrow appears connected not to religion but to her break-up with her fiance after he makes an appalling admission to her. The cab driver is Hanna (a spirited Laslo), an Israeli woman who has endured the regional turmoil but needs to collect cash that an associate of her husband owes to her. Woman number three, Leila (Abbass), is a Palestinian who works at Hanna's husband's office, who informs Hanna that the associate has vanished, causing the women to embark on a road trip to the Free Zone to look for him—and the cash. While an interesting trip, the political lessons stall out along the way. 94m/ C DVD . BE FR IS SP Natalie Portman, Uri Klauzner, Carmen Maura, Hiam Abbass, Hanna Laslo, Makram Khoury, Aki Avni; D: Amos Gitai; W: Amos Gitai, Marie-Jose Sanselme; C: Laurent Brunet.