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2016 | 2011

1 item from 2016


Cannes Film Review: ‘Personal Affairs’

13 May 2016 5:04 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The dissatisfactions of three generations of an extended Palestinian family serve as the basis for a mild, occasionally trenchant narrative debut feature from Maha Haj, who has worked as a set designer for the Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman (“The Time That Remains”), among others, and shares her mentor’s taste for droll set pieces and gentle absurdity. This sort of slow-burning, deadpan dramedy has grown ubiquitous on the festival circuit, where “Personal Affairs” seems likely to find most of its business. But the movie has isolated moments that hint at Haj as a director capable of making something less slight.

The film opens on an elderly couple, Nabeela and Saleh (Sanaa and Mahmoud Shawahdeh, nonprofessionals in a cast teeming with them), in Haj’s hometown of Nazareth, with Nabeela cooking and Saleh plugging away on a laptop. Seemingly bored with their decades-long marriage, Nabeela can barely bring herself to acknowledge her husband’s presence, »

- Ben Kenigsberg

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2016 | 2011

1 item from 2016


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