“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 »
1981-1990CanadaDocumentaryElia SuleimanExperimentalJayce Salloum
This highly kinetic tableaux of uprooted sights and sounds works most earnestly to expose the racial biases concealed in familiar images. Relying on valuable snippets from feature films such as “Exodus”, “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Black Sunday”, “Little Drummer Girl”, and network news shows, the filmmakers have constructed an oddly wry narrative, mimicking the history of Mid East politics.Read More »
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 »
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 »
Elia Suleiman – Yadon ilaheyya AKA Divine Intervention AKA Chronicle of Love and Pain [+Extra] (2002)2001-2010ArthouseComedyElia SuleimanIsrael
Director Elia_Suleiman uses a mixture of romantic comedy and quirky humor to shed light on the problems of Palestinians in Yadon Ilaheyya (Divine Intervention). E.S. (Suleiman and his girlfriend Manal_Khader), because they live in separate cities, must meet near an Israeli checkpoint. The film is little more than a series of usually comic but occasionally poignant scenes in which Suleiman and others must confront any number of Israeli nemeses. Suleiman’s second film, Divine Interventions, was screened in competition at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.
— Perry Seibert, RoviRead More »