2011-2020Basil KhalilComedyPalestineShort Film

Basil Khalil – Ave Maria (2015)


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.

Director’s statement

In the film I focus on these rules and obligations, which sometimes
border on the absurd, preventing each of these groups from
interacting despite living on the same piece of land. However
sometimes, due to exceptional circumstances, their two worlds collide,
leaving them no choice but to recognise the absurdity of their strict
rules, and end up breaking them, whether they be political or religious
“laws”, they have to work together overcome their differences, even if
it’s just for a few hours.
It is these absurd and unique situations have always sparked my
interest when finding new material, because here is where you find the
deep, humane, yet fantastic life stories.
The nuns you see in the film live a life of silence under the Israeli
military occupation of the West Bank, as well as a life of religious
silence and solitude. On the other hand we have the Israeli settlers,
who represent one of the reasons behind this military occupation, yet
they are also “occupied” by their strong religious beliefs and rules.
I wanted to highlight the mutual distrust that these two groups have
for one other, as well as their eventual cooperation and the learning
experiences they eventually get from this adventure, and to show that
it is possible for people to put aside their differences in the name of
a common goal.


Language(s):Arabic, English, Hebrew


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