Terrorist attacks like the Marathon bombing arouse a common response – what were they thinking? How could anyone consider that a good idea? In “The Attack,” Dr. Amin Jaafari (Ali Suliman) wonders the same as he treats the wounded from a suicide bombing in which 17 have been killed, including 11 children.
But soon the question becomes more than theoretical: Jaafari’s wife, Siham (Reymonde Amsellem), was the bomber. Though director Ziad Doueiri’s uneven treatment of this provocative premise suffers from contrivance and implausibility, it nonetheless arouses profound questions about fanaticism, cultural identity, and the essential mystery of other people, even those we think we know best.
In Arabic and Hebrew, with subtitles. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Peter Keough can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.