C'est en donnant aux événements et situations virtuellement dramatiques, une configuration cocasse et décalée ou visuellement esthétique et picturale utilisant un comique à répétition, entre ubuesque constat d'impuissance et profond désarroi existentiel que le cinéaste dresse l'amère cartographie d'une nation en miettes, profondément en désarroi avec un humour ravageur www.cinefiches.com
An impeccably taut comedic masterwork - dry, deadpan, absurdist - surveying, with wit, restraint, distance, the farce (and horror) of Nakba, Israeli occupation, and the resulting (il)logical extensions (e.g. "present absentees", or the somehow both "Jewish and democratic" state...) Scathing, dignified, full of understated tenderness. Plus badass pole vault over the West Bank Wall. Wonderful cinema.
I'll admit I didn't fully understand everything which went on in the film, which is why I suppose I didn't really like it. At times I found it was trying too hard to be funny, which got me irritated and therefore felt even more distanced. I'd recommend reading into it more prior to watching then maybe you'll have a more enjoyable experience than I did.
Images from Chronicle of a Disappearance still linger. In that film, and this one, he superbly conjures a world of stillness, beauty & absurdity. A film of gestures, with composition to rival Fassbinder’s Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant. A film imbued with a familial warmth that leaves one yearning, strangely, for the unenviable world of its characters. He's a modest troubadour. Sophisticated. Gentle. Weary.
Elia Sulieman takes a deeply personal look at Palestinian/Israeli relations in this autobiographical look at the time when Israel became an official state, and Palestinians found themselves a minority. I love Sulieman's compositions and deadpan humor, but here it seems disjointed, and doesn't really add up to a satisfying whole. Still, Sulieman has a great sense of comedic timing and droll satire.