The Time That Remains is a semi biographic film, in four historic episodes, about a family -my family – spanning from 1948, until recent times. The film is inspired by my father’s diaries of his personal accounts, starting from when he was a resistant fighter in 1948, and by my mother’s letters to family members who were forced to leave the country since then. Combined with my intimate memories of them and with them, the film attempts to portray the daily life of those Palestinians who remained in their land and were labeled « Israeli-Arabs », living as a minority in their own homeland. —Elia Suleiman
Elia Suleiman is a Palestinian-Israeli film director and actor. He is best known for the 2002 film Divine Intervention, a modern tragic comedy on living under occupation in the Palestinian territories which won the Jury Prize at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. Between 1982-1993, Suleiman lived in New York City, where he directed two short films: Introduction to the End of an Argument and Homage by Assassination, that won numerous awards.
In 1996, Suleiman directed Chronicle of a Disappearance, his first feature film. It won the Best First Film Prize at the 1996 Venice Film Festival. In 2002, Suleiman’s second feature film, Divine Intervention, subtitled, A Chronicle of Love and Pain, won the Jury Prize at the Festival de Cannes and the International Critics (FIPRESCI) Prize, also receiving the Best Foreign Film Prize at the European Awards in Rome. Suleiman was part of the jury for the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. —World Cinema Foundation
Both elegant and humorous in its composition, Suleiman’s deadpan humour, while slight, succeeds in defusing tensions within Arab-Israeli history, instilling the emotional sensitivity that’s expected of someone as intimate with its ongoing repercussions as himself. Rather, his chronicle conveys less of a bitterness, scorn or even so much as a revisionist score of his forefathers’ persecution as mere diaspora, with its muted despair, and a humanity that thus transcends ethnic and religious borders.
We'll get to what all else is online from the new issue of Film Comment in a moment, but first, here's Joumane Chahine on a film playing
"I hesitate to proclaim Mia Hansen-Løve's Le père de mes enfants (The Father of My Children) the best film of the year so far, or Hansen