Palestine

Elia Suleiman – It Must Be Heaven (2019)

Quote:
“Where do the birds fly after the last sky?” asks Mahmoud Darwich, and award-winning Palestinian director Elia Suleiman in his latest film asks the same question through his alter-ego, ES. ES escapes from Palestine seeking an alternative homeland, only to find that Palestine is trailing behind him. The promise of a new life turns into a comedy of errors: however far he travels, from Paris to New York, something always reminds him of home. It Must Be Heaven is a comic saga exploring identity, nationality and belonging, in which Suleiman asks the fundamental question: where is the place we can truly call home? Read More »

    Simone Bitton – Rachel [+Extra] (2009)

    To show solidarity with Palestinians, Amercian peace activist Rachel Corrie engaged in civil disobedience in a combat zone in the Gaza Strip; the circumstances that led to her death by bulldozer (or its debris) are still debated. Read More »

      Elia Suleiman – The Time That Remains (2009)

      Quote:
      The Time That Remains is a semi‐autobiographical film, in four episodes, about a family, my family, from 1948 until recent times. The film is inspired by my father’s private diaries, starting from when he was a resistance fighter in 1948, and by my mother’s letters to family members who were forced to leave the country. Combined with my intimate memories of them and with them, the film attempts to portray the daily life of those Palestinians who remained and were labelled “Israeli‐Arabs”, living as a minority in their own homeland. Read More »

        Elia Suleiman – Segell Ikhtifa AKA Chronicle of a Disappearance (1997)

        Deceptively simple and executed with a documentary feel, this drama represents a highly personal journey home for expatriate Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman. The film is divided into two sections. The first documents the paradoxical but sleepy existence in the Arab part of Nazareth. The second part takes a more political view of the city and in it, Suleiman takes a more active role. He has come to his former home in search of inspiration, but what he sees are many disturbing images of Arab people trapped in a cultural identity crisis, a point best illustrated by the plight of a young Arab woman who wants more independence than traditionally allowed in her part of town but cannot find it because of prejudiced residents on the Jewish side. Read More »

          Basil Khalil – Ave Maria (2015)

          29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

          Synopsis:
          Nuns of the ‘Sisters of Mercy’ convent in the middle of the West Bank
          wilderness have their daily routine of silence and prayer disrupted
          when a family of religious Israeli settlers crash their car into the
          convent’s wall.
          The Sabbath is approaching and they need to get home urgently,
          however, because of the Sabbath laws, the Israelis can’t operate a
          phone to call for assistance, and the Nuns have taken a vow of
          silence. Together they have to come up with an unorthodox plan to
          help them get home. Read More »

            Hany Abu-Assad – Omar (2013)

            29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

            Quote:
            A subtle undercurrent exists in the visuals, which use cheerful billboard advertising, such as a mattress company with a man happily asleep, or a social responsibility pitch for “planting hope,” as casual background images to reinforce the disconnect between phony optimism and reality. Perhaps the sense of deja vu in the pic’s first half is necessary for the power of the second, in which treacheries are constantly guessed at and possibilities of redemption dissolve in a situation with no exit…

            Omar does not offer the promise of a just or satisfying resolution, a fatalism all the more devastating given its realistic methods and humane, understated performances. The film’s final scene feels shocking and abrupt, but also chillingly inevitable, consistent with the logic of a situation that defies all reason. Read More »

              Annemarie Jacir – Lamma shoftak AKA When I Saw You (2012)

              29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

              Synopsis
              The follow up to Annemarie Jacir’s award-winning feature debut Salt of the Sea, When I Saw You tells the tale of a young Palestinian boy and his mother as they struggle to maintain their dignity after being displaced from their West Bank by the Israeli army in 1967. Defeated by the Israelis for the second time in their quest to liberate Palestine, numerous Palestinians and their families join refugees from the 1948 conflict in refugee camps located in nearby Arab countries. 11-year-old Tarek (Mahmoud Asfa) and his mother Ghaydaa (Ruba Blal) are just two of the thousands who were displaced when the Israeli army seized control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Desperate, they seek shelter at the Harir Camp in Jordan while anxiously awaiting the return of Tarik’s father, Ghassan. Later, when Ghassan fails to appear, Tarik grows emboldened by his encounter with a band of heavily-armed Palestinian freedom fighters, and decides to join their ranks.
              Jason Buchanan, allmovie Read More »