East Bank Story

Thanks to my sharp-eyed friend in Sweden, I just had a delightful time viewing an excerpt from the 2006 DVD collection of Academy Award Nominated Short Films. The one I giggled my way through this morning, "East Bank Story," starts out as an obvious homage to "West Side Story," complete with snapping fingers and potential gang warfare. Only it's between the Arabs and the Jews, not the Sharks and the Jets. You also will recognize other references; "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Yentl" most immediately come to mind.

Two family-operated franchises sit side by side, "The Hummus Hut" and "Kosher King." I know you can figure it out! As they introduce their family members (in song!), all have ethnically oriented names except one, an Arab called Bruce, who later on insists on adding little paper umbrellas to the Molotov Cocktails! This is unashamed, unadorned, unabashed, politically incorrect self-mockery.

For example: When the Kosher King Jews threaten to build a wall surrounding the Hummus Hut, the Arabs laugh because they KNOW you never find Jews in Construction! And the guards almost shoot our heroine when they mistake "Hummus" for "Hamas" and think she is carrying a bomb in that little paper bag instead of someone's lunch.

Of course our star-crossed lovers are self explanatory... He even climbs a ladder to her balcony and sings a sappy song. (He had advised her beforehand -- verbatim -- that was his plan!)

This is funny from beginning to end. Although it features no one you would ever recognize, familiar ethnic stereotypes abound. Even the final line of dialog is funny!