IMDb > Divine Intervention (2002)
Yadon ilaheyya
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Divine Intervention (2002) More at IMDbPro »Yadon ilaheyya (original title)


User Rating:
6.6/10   2,719 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for Divine Intervention on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 October 2002 (France) See more »
Separated by a checkpoint, Palestinian lovers from Jerusalem and Ramallah arrange clandestine meetings. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
6 wins & 2 nominations See more »
(2 articles)
User Reviews:
Bitter ironies of occupation See more (48 total) »


  (in credits order)

Elia Suleiman ... E.S.
Manal Khader ... Woman
George Ibrahim ... Santa Clause
Amer Daher ... Auni
Jamel Daher ... Jamal
Lufuf Nuweiser ... Neighbor with American van
Read Masarweh ... Abu Basil
Bassem Loulou ... Abu Amer
Salwa Nakkara ... Adia (as Salvia Nakkara)
Naaman Jarjoura ... Uncle
Rama Nashashibi ... Um Elias
Saiman Natour ... Friend
Fairos Hakim ... Bus stop shopkeeper
Khalil Jarjoura ... Number 6 man
Hamada Shamout ... Basil
Nazira Suleiman ... Mother
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Azi Adadi ... Soldier 9
Haim Adri ... Walkie Talkie Voice
Bsoul Ahmas ... Policeman 3
Zahl Aleimi ... Barbecue man
Shmulik Altal ... Soldier 6
Igal Arobas ... Tax officer 2
Majd Atiyem ... Kid Santa Claus
Ahmad Ayadi ... Kid Santa Claus
Samih Bathish ... Municipal worker

David Belle ... Marksman1
Vincent Bersoulle ... Marksman 5 (as Vincent Bersouley)
Emma Boltanski ... The french tourist
Arik Bonfis ... Officier
Daniel Bronfman ... Soldier 1
Omil Civon ... Soldier 5
Daher Daher ... Identical patient 1
Nayef Fahoum Daher ... E.S.'s Father
Emil Daniel ... Manshooting snake
Zahi Daniel ... Snake beater #2
Ziad Daniel ... Snake beater #1
Rashad Deek ... Nurse 4
Yoval Edan ... Policeman with van
Ramzi El Sheik Kasem ... Molotov cocktail 2
Khalid Fahoum ... Kid Santa Claus
Rana Hakim ... Nurse 3
Rami Hakon ... Soldier 8
Isal Hassidim ... Soldier 2
Abu Junia ... Vendor
Mahmoud Kadah ... Policeman 2
Dishara Katelo ... Kid Santa Claus
Samor Katelo ... Kid Santa Claus
George Khleifi ... Jerusalem Neighbor
Elias Khoury ... Doctor
Avi Kleinberger ... Trainer & Tax Collector
Sana Lahab ... Nurse 1
Alox Lawrence ... Settler in car
Rachol Loah ... Walkie Talkie Voice
Ju'den Moaz ... Prisonier
Fianas Moukabaa ... Kid Santa Claus
Alfred Naddaf ... Patient whit woomen leg
Menashe Noy ... Soldier at Checkpoint (as Monacho Noi)
Marwan Okal ... Tax officer 1
Sébastien Peres ... Marksman 2 (as Sebastian Perez)

Michel Piccoli ... Santa Claus Breathing (voice)
Frederick Renard ... Marksman 3 (as Fred Renard)
Emil Rock ... Patient whit pyjama
Roni Rock ... Santa Claus patient
Bakor Saleh ... Snake beater #3
Imad Samara ... Molotov cocktail 1
Denis Sandler ... Soldier 4 (as Denis Shapoznikov)

Olivier Schneider ... Marksman 4
Kamal Sruji ... Engineer 2
Samir Sruji ... Engineer 1
Juna Suleiman ... Nurse smoking
Rasha Suleiman ... Nurse 2
Soner Suleiman ... Policeman 1
Wajdi Tallouzi ... Kid Santa Claus
Tuvia Twig ... Soldier 7
Ruba Warwar ... Sweetwart
Lual Zaher ... Kid Santa Claus
Ronin Zindenfeld ... Soldier 3

Directed by
Elia Suleiman 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Elia Suleiman 

Produced by
Humbert Balsan .... producer
Rémi Burah .... co-producer
Avi Kleinberger .... line producer
Joachim Ortmanns .... co-producer
Babette Schröder .... associate producer
Elia Suleiman .... co-producer
Cinematography by
Marc-André Batigne 
Film Editing by
Véronique Lange 
Casting by
Galit Rosenstain 
Production Design by
Miguel Markin 
Denis Renault 
Art Direction by
Miguel Markin 
Denis Renault 
Samir Srouji 
Costume Design by
Eve-Marie Arnault  (as Eve-Marie Arnault)
Makeup Department
Orly Ronen .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Eric Vedrine .... unit manager: Marseilles
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Basil Khalil .... second assistant director
Shabtai Yitzhak .... first assistant director
Sound Department
Selim Azzazi .... sound effects editor
Hervé Guyader .... sound editor
Laurent Lafran .... sound recordist
Philippe Lecoeur .... boom operator
Nicolas Lefebvre .... dialogue editor
Johann Nallet .... sound recordist
Williams Schmit .... sound re-recording mixer
Alon Shapira .... boom operator
Bruno Tarrière .... sound re-recording mixer
Eric Tisserand .... sound
Jean-Alexandre Villemer .... sound recordist
Visual Effects by
Manfred Büttner .... visual effects producer
Erich Eder .... digital compositor
Hubert Fourneaux .... visual effects
Fabien Girodot .... visual effects supervisor
Dirk Matzkuhn .... digital compositor
Robert Pinnow .... visual effects coordinator
Eve Ramboz .... visual effects
Caterina Schiffers .... digital compositor: postproduction, TVT
Florian Schuck .... digital compositor
Heiko Schweizer .... digital compositor
Thomas Schäfer .... CGI artist
Aurélien Vernhes-Lermusiaux .... trainee: visual effects unit
Markus Degen .... digital effects artist (uncredited)
Olivier Schneider .... stunts
Frédéric Vallet .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Igal Arobas .... grip
Ehab Assal .... assistant camera
Ehab Assal .... camera operator
Ehab Assal .... focus puller
Adi Borkin .... best boy
Vincent Buron .... first assistant camera
Frédéric Mainson .... assistant camera
Guy Ne'eman .... key grip
Ferencz Radnai .... gaffer
Editorial Department
Reda Berbar .... colorist
Muriel Douvry .... assistant editor
Bérengère Saint-Bezar .... assistant editor
Other crew
Grace Benoish .... script supervisor
Myriam Lainey .... script supervisor
Nadia Saah .... publicity and marketing

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial Effects

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Yadon ilaheyya" - France (original title)
See more »
92 min | France:100 min (Cannes Film Festival)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Brazil:14 | Denmark:7 | Finland:K-11 | France:U | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | Spain:13 | Sweden:11 | Switzerland:12 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:12 (canton of Vaud) | Switzerland:14 (canton of the Grisons) | UK:15
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Chosen by "Telerama" (France) as one of the 10 best pictures of 2002 (#04)See more »
Crew or equipment visible: At the border, when several cars are told to turn around, the camera is reflected in the side of the cars for several seconds.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Film Geek (2005)See more »
I Put a Spell on YouSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
35 out of 46 people found the following review useful.
Bitter ironies of occupation, 29 March 2003
Author: Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California

"Divine Intervention," or" A Godlike Hand," consists of many vignettes which are Tati-esque "sans paroles" cartoons (they call them "bidoon ta'leeq" in Arabic, without comment), or comic strips actually, since scenes keep returning with slight changes and end with implied punch lines.

The first half focuses on individuals in Jerusalem, the last on Suleiman himself, his father (Nayef Fahoum Daher), and his girlfriend (Manal Khader). His girlfriend disappears and his father dies. The director plays like the sad-faced Buster Keaton doing "Waiting for Godot." He's also been compared to Hal Hartley and Groucho Marx and Yiddish humor, but what we need to remember is that this is a series of disjointed cartoons. Suleiman's aim is not to tell a story but to delineate with bitter, detached irony the miseries and absurdities of Palestinian life under Israeli occupation. In doing so he has had full access to a large Israeli cast, including actual or former IDF border guards.

The movie was originally nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film -- and then taken off the list because Palestine 'is not a legitimate nation.' That's what Golda Meir used to say; the Motion Picture Academy is more backward than the judges at Cannes, which gave Suleiman two jury prizes. Politics are different in the USA, as observers of world events are currently all too well aware, and "Divine Intervention" is unlikely to be as well appreciated in America as in Europe. American and English reviews have frequently focused on the movie's weaknesses and overlooked its elegance and restrained passion.

Indeed there are subtleties that will elude an audience from outside Israel. I'm told that the green envelopes "E.S.'s" father is opening are government mail, whatever you get from different ministries and departments, and the big blue envelope pertains to income tax. It just looked like junk mail to me. In another sequence something happened with the owner of a house who was the object of fire bombings, but I didn't follow the outcome.

Suleiman's black images of Israeli occupation resemble the humor of the concentration camp; the occupation is like a summery, open air detention center, the Jews giving back what they got under the Nazis to the people they got their land from. The final aim is still extermination and removal of a people.

The detachment of Suleiman's view, and perhaps the warped sensibilities that repression and frustration cause, are reflected in the meanness and feuding he depicts as existing daily among the Palestinians themselves and their contacts with Israelis; the alienation in the constant sound of Hebrew in the ears of Arabic speakers. Neighbors throw garbage in each other's yards, puncture a boy's lost soccer ball before returning it; drive along greeting acquaintances and cursing them under their breath.

Between Jerusalem, where E.S. lives, and Ramallah, where his girlfriend is, lies one of the infamous checkpoints: the lovers' separation causes them to meet at a vacant lot next to it. They stare ahead with blank sadness, twining their hands together. Their lovemaking is reduced to that tiny gesture. They sit impassively for hours, as Palestinians must sit in car queues for hours at the checkpoints. Sometimes Suleiman shifts to fantasy: an apricot pit E.S. flips out his car window blows up a tank, or a pretty girl (his girlfriend?) in tight clothes leaves her car, and approaches the elevated observation cabin of a checkpoint, to the consternation and arousal of the young Israeli guards. She walks past, and the whole observation cabin magically disintegrates. (These two sequences had to be staged and shot in France.)

Another time a lively new guard takes over with a megaphone barking commands at Palestinian motorists, stealing a young man's imported leather jacket, ordering others to switch cars, making another sing along with him, humiliating them all, and then suddenly waving the whole line of cars through. The Palestinians are at the mercy of individual personalities, and have only a choice between humiliation and cruelty.

E.S.'s father sits in his pajamas having breakfast seemingly for hours opening the mail mentioned above, eating an egg. He smokes a cigarette and then gets up, and falls onto the floor.

Hospital scenes follow which emphasize how everybody, patients, doctors and nurses, constantly smokes.

Periodically we see Suleiman/E.S. pulling large Post It's off a wall, representing all the little episodes of the movie.

In an elaborate sequence toward the end five Israelis do target practice in formation like chorus girls shooting up effigies of a Palestinian woman -- the girlfriend -- wearing a kufia mask. Finally the real woman emerges from behind the one remaining effigy, dodges dozens of bullets, flies into the air transmogrified into a martyr, emits stones that knock down the men, blows them up with grenades, and spins off in the air like a Ninja. This, and the opening sequence in which Arab boys chase and stab a costumed Santa Claus, have been criticized in English-language reviews as too vicious or too fanciful, but they accurately represent the workings of a tormented Palestinian mind.

It's important to remember that there's no intention to tell a connected story here; Suleiman is an observer and note-taker. Returned to Jerusalem since 1994, he lived abroad for a decade before that, mostly in New York. Like all Palestinians he is rootless and international, treated like dirt in his native land. The power of his observations is in their coolness and wry humor.

For all the explosions, shooting, beatings (of a snake, in one scene) and expressions of hostility, the movie is marked by its distance, stillness, and restraint. People are seen from afar, head on, or from above. Perhaps the most memorable image is the one of E.S. and his girlfriend staring impassively forward for hours at the checkpoint. Passive endurance is the hallmark of Palestinian survival as seen in "Divine Intervention."

A highly symbolic scene is the repeated one of a bus stop where one man is standing and another comes and says, "There's no bus," and the first one says, "I know!" This pinpoints the hopeless situation of the whole society.

Despite the links with classic movie comedy tradition, Suleiman has a unique and sadder vision. One may or may not find the scenes amusing or entertaining but one does get a sense of the average Palestinian's predicament. Bitter irony and detachment are two of the only ways of dealing with it.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (48 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Divine Intervention (2002)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Supportive Reviews (Love it) claudio_carvalho
Oscar and Divine Intervention afodias
Manal Khader Leo14
Israeli Soldiers Bomb Cinema Showing Divine Intervention JoshStein
soundtrack Leo14
Question (slight spoiler) lovefilm375
See more »

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb France section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.