Metrodome must be congratulated for bringing this thoughtful understated film to DVD with such a comprehensive selection of extras. Although not always an easy film to watch, Private is a brave and often compelling attempt to contextualise the difficulties in the Israeli-Palestine conflict, and proves an educating and distinctive watch.
Private is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Picture quality is overall good if unspectacular. There is noticeable softness and grain in certain scenes (particularly at night) but this is most likely down to artistic preference on Costanzo's part than any deficiencies in the transfer. The film has somewhat of a documentary realism style to it, and in this respect the transfer does its job admirably. Aside from these concerns the transfer holds its own. There is no evidence of pixilation or ghosting present, skin tones are uniformly even, and blacks are good and solid.
Sound is presented in an understated Dolby Digital 2.0 mix. Like the transfer, it is difficult to see how the disc could excel in AV areas given the nature of the film itself. Sound is clear and audible, if less than thrilling. Gunfire rattles about quite impressively in this understated mix, but there is little else contained in the film to push the boundaries. A 5.1 mix may have been nice to liven up the impressive musical score or give more meat to the battle scenes, but as it stands the standard 2.0 track does its job reasonably enough. There's certainly nothing to fault other than the inherent limitation of the format used.
There is an excellent little selection here. First up is 'Not Only for a Piece of Land', a superb and informative documentary which runs for just under an hour. Dispersed with behind the scenes footage are plentiful interviews with cast members who offer their own personal opinions on the conflict. An engrossing watch, this really helps place the film in its real life context and this adds gravitas to the main feature. Secondly, there is a lengthy Q and A session with director Saverio Costanzo. This offers an excellent insight into the film, as Costanzo is both informative and enlightening on the filmmaking process, and the questions he is asked really dig deep into the nature and intentions of the film. Lastly the disc offers the films theatrical trailer.
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