Directed by renowned artist and two-time Oscar nominee Julian Schnabel, who previously helmed Basquiat, Before Night Falls and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Miral is based on the novelized diaries of Rula Jebreal, a young Palestinian woman growing up in East Jerusalem in the extremely unsettled 1970s and ’80s. To create a cinematic narrative, the story is fractured into four codas, each telling the story of a woman who shaped the life of the central, fourth character, Miral (played by Slumdog Millionaire beauty Freida Pinto), a Palestinian girl brought to a Jerusalem orphanage in the wake of the first Arab-Israeli war who becomes highly politicized, diving headfirst into the First Intifada at the age of 17. ?

Schnabel’s artistic vision is at the fore in all of his film work, and Miral is no exception. Beautifully shot and lyrical conceived, the painter is an undeniably gifted visual storyteller. Unfortunately, his abilities as a straightforward filmmaker are still lacking.

While each shot of the film unfolds with panache, Miral’s throughline feels like a broken bone improperly set. Jagged and ungainly, performances range from stiff and awkward (most notably, Schnabel’s own daughter Stella) to heartbreakingly human (Alexander Siddig, best known for his work as Julian Bashir on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”) while the story splinters into unmolded fragments with the only prevailing thematic agenda being an unmasked, markedly anti-Israeli sentiment. Miral is a film better observed for its beauty than structure, which features thinly veiled Israeli hatred and an extraordinarily one-sided political point of view. ?

Grade: D

Miral releases in select theaters March 25.