Magazine article New Internationalist

Divine Intervention

Magazine article New Internationalist

Divine Intervention

Article excerpt

Suleiman's mostly silent comedy - the first Palestinian film to be distributed across Europe - is a bold, original, sometimes puzzling dramatization of contemporary Palestinian life.

It opens in Nazareth, Suleiman's birthplace in Israel. Teenage boys chase a man dressed as Santa Claus and stab him. Another man throws refuse sacks into his neighbour's garden. Another stockpiles bottles on his rooftop to use as missiles. Yet another, opening his mail at breakfast, keels over with a heart attack.

Tying together the disparate scenes is the character of `ES', played deadpan by Elia Suleiman himself. It's while visiting Nazareth's Christian hospital to see his father - the heart-attack victim - that he incidentally encounters other characters, such as the bottle-thrower and the wounded Santa Claus. Some of the scenes even occur inside his head as when, driving from his Jerusalem home to the hospital, he throws an apricot stone out of the car window. …

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