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By Brad Wilke | November 27, 2008

“Thursday Market” is a meditation on the choices people are forced to make in their lives. A young woman named Mariyah (Nazneen Contractor) is an ambivalent suicide bomber on a mission to destroy a marketplace in the Gaza Strip. But in a crisis of conscience, she defuses the bomb (but not the timer) and decides to abandon her now uncompleted mission.

The film shows a lot of promise on the technical side, with able direction from Christine Jan Mesias and and sharp cinematography by Sabeeh Khan, but the simplistic story leaves something to be desired. Instead of a moment remembered from her past or a meaningful interaction at the market, the impetus for Mariyah to dismantle her bomb is a completely random event. That’s not the problem, though. The problem is that this random event is Mariyah dropping a pair of scissors(!) in the bathroom and an unknown woman passing them back to her beneath the wall. Because of this act of kindness, Mariyah conveniently decides to cut the wire on the bomb wrapped around her midriff.

With a little more attention to story and character development, “Thursday Market” could have been a great movie. As is, it is merely good.

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