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The work is divided into two parts, "Time I: A Million Birds" and "Time II: Marie-Rose".An unnamed, omniscient narrator is juxtaposed with a group of deaf-mute children, who speak in a collective voice, the four Christian men who together act as judge, jury and executioner, and Marie-Rose herself.The director has wisely narrowed down the cast of characters to a digestible core: Marie-Rose (played by a blonde-locked Joelle Homsi), Mounir (Moe Khadra), a religious man of unclear denomination (Saad Kadiry), who takes the place of Adnan's orphaned Christian clergyman, the narrator (Faez Rawas), and the five deaf-mute children, who take it in turns to speak in their distinctive collective voice.Achkar has also done away with the back-story of Marie-Rose's relationship with a PLO-aligned doctor, the perceived betrayal of her Christian roots that signs her death warrant. Instead, he has emphasized the teenage romance between Marie-Rose and Mounir, who is faced with a doomed moral battle. Achkar has also chosen not to stage the first part of the novel.
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