February 10, 2008|Eran Kolirin strikes a modest figure. Maybe it was the illness: exhausted from a cross-country junket to promote the stateside release of his ebullient and in many ways extraordinary feature debut The Band's Visit (and sick besides), Mr. Kolirin met with me at Cherry Creek's Zaidy's Restaurant--home to the best matzo ball soup in Denver--over a bowl of what he referred to as a little Jewish remedy for the bug he'd been fighting on his tour. As we ate, I realized that what preparatory notes I'd made were all but useless. Though The Band's Visit is almost the definition of a political film (Israelis and Egyptians, oh my), Mr. Kolirin steadfastly avoided a discussion of his new role as focal point for the Middle East conversation--and when I asked him who he was rooting for in the upcoming American election (this was the day after Super Tuesday in the U.S. and I was fresh from listening to an NPR report on how Israel and Egypt were viewing the festivities), he said, "I don't have any idea." I began to wonder if this reticence wasn't more reluctance than indifference: as an aside, almost, at one pointed he volunteered that "Bush, yes, is quite fucked up."