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Divine Intervention

6.0
394
Ratings
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Original title
Yaddon Ilaheyya
Year
Running time
92 min.
Country
Palestine Palestine
Director
Screenwriter
Elia Suleiman
Music
Miscellaneous
Cinematography
Marc-André Batigne
Cast
, ,
Producer
Co-production Palestinian Territories-France-Morocco-Germany
Genre
Comedy. Drama | Arab-Israeli conflict
Synopsis / Plot
Palestinian director and performer Elia Suleiman delivers a darkly comic masterpiece. Suleiman utilizes irreverence, wit, mysticism and insight to craft an intense, hallucinogenic and extremely adept exploration of the dreams and nightmares of Palestinians and Israelis living in uncertain times. Subtitled, "A Chronicle of Love and Pain," Divine Intervention follows ES, is a character played by and clearly based upon the filmmaker himself. ES is burdened with a sick father, a stalled screenplay and an unrequited love affair with a beautiful Palestinian woman (Manal Khader) living in Ramallah. An Israeli checkpoint on the Nazareth-Ramallah road forces the couple to rendezvous in an adjacent parking lot. Their relationship and the absurd situations around them serve as metaphors for the lunacy of larger cultural problems, and the result is palpable, bottled personal and political rage.

Suleiman's wry chronicle sketches his hometown of Nazareth as a place consumed by ferocious absurdity, where residents harbor feuds, dump garbage into neighbors' yards, and surreptitiously block access roads. Characters transgress rules with abandon - stealing forbidden cigarette breaks in a hospital corridor, for example. Yet the film's acerbic, absurdist sense of humor (earning comparisons to Jacques Tati and Nanni Moretti), in a situation where death seems to lurk at every corner, and Suleiman's own eye-popping directorial interventions, are what earned him the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes.
Awards
2002: Cannes Film Festival: Jury Prize and FIPRESCI Award
2002: Chicago Film Festival: Jury Prize
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