Liu returns to his native city Shanghai after 50 years spent in Taiwan. He has come to find the first love of his life, Qiao, who he left behind pregnant. In the meantime, Qiao has married ... See full summary »
'Habibi Rasak Kharban' (Darling, Something's Wrong with Your Head) is a dramatic feature that tells the story of a forbidden love in Gaza. The film is a modern re-telling of the famous ... See full summary »
Maisa Abd Elhadi,
Yosef Abu Wardeh
1967. The world is alive with change: brimming with reawakened energy, new styles, music and an infectious sense of hope. In Jordan, a different kind of change is underway as tens of ... See full summary »
Set during the current Intifada, this documentary follows four Palestinian families living in Dheisheh Refugee Camp near Bethlehem. Fadi is 13 and cares for his 4 younger brothers, the ... See full summary »
Tania, a young Russian woman who lives illegally in Belgium with her 13-year-old son Ivan. Constantly on her guard, she dreads police checks until the day she is arrested. Mother and son ... See full summary »
In April, 1975, civil war breaks out; Beirut is partitioned along a Moslem-Christian line. Tarek is in high school, making Super 8 movies with his friend, Omar. At first the war is a lark: ... See full summary »
Julien, 28, returns to his home town. He's spent the last 13 years in prison. Out on probation, he's obsessed by a girl... Emily. And one day, he reaches for her: "it's me". She turns around, looks at him and starts to scream.
Jean-Xavier de Lestrade
Jamie is a young man growing up in the small Australian town of Bundaberg during the early 1940's. Jamie loves his tranquil life, surrounded by the friendly locals, and being brought up by ... See full summary »
Kevin James Dobson
Coping with the irreversible, the cultural aftermath of the creation of Israel
The Time That Remains starts in 1948 in Palestine with the invasion by the Israeli armed forces. This event casts a long shadow over the entire movie. It's a Palestinian account, occasionally a very personal account, of how life has continued since then. The movie is contending that in cultural terms there's been a huge degradation, and people have lived in stasis, their lives not moving forward at all.
The movie is a farce which reminds me of the Georgian cinematic tradition of military/political farces such as Brigands Chapter VII from Otar Iosseliani and Repentance from Tenghiz Abuladze. It's very funny at times, and very deadpan, but at others it's very poignant. For example there is literally a tug'o'war in a hospital corridor (shot from outside the building - a neutral absurd position typical of this film) between policemen and doctors concerning a wounded man on a gurney, who presumably is wanted for "questioning".
It's an autobiographical film which is shot on a human level and is therefore a lot more palatable than other politically motivated movies on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It's a film that takes place over many years, culminating in the present day. Over the period there's a decline in health of the characters shown, and also in the cultural health, the young consume only American pop and films, gangsterism and culturally tolerated theft is commonplace. The movie could have been a lot stronger for sure on this point, Israeli forces have destroyed the Palestinian infrastructure. Given that it's a Palestinian point of view, I think it's remarkably even handed.
Suleiman views the occupation as implacable, his neighbour (who is mentally broken by the occupation) one day converses with Suleiman's father and says that he's discovered the secret to fight the occupation, the answer is the (un-Muslim) option of drinking arak, once drunk on arak, the Israeli planes are close enough to be plucked out of the air. That's the level of impotence that I think the characters in the film feel about events.
I think there's a sense of shame as well. I remember when Cheney's forces invaded Iraq, the speed with which they overcame the nation was viewed as a great shame for Arabs across the entire Middle East. The capitulation of Palestine is depicted the same way here, total and almost immediate, with the Mayor of Nazareth signing over the city to the Israelis without a word of protest. All we really see of Palestinian soldiers is a bunch of them jettisoning their keffiyehs and weapons and running for dear life before an engagement has even started. One man marches into an Israeli post and shoots himself as an act of defiance and protest, but this is portrayed with nil gravitas by Suleiman, as pointless as shouting at the wind.
The film is really a treasure trove of absurd vignettes that I don't want to delve into too deeply and spoil the movie for you, but I've got a list of at least ten other highly memorable moments in this film.
For you all you Americans out there, the movie is quite hostile towards American foreign policy. You won't see an American in the movie though. I don't think it's that controversial, it's pretty clear that the only real special relationship the US has had over the last half a century, in foreign policy terms, has been with Israel, and that's been to the detriment of the Palestinians.
I think the movie is a masterpiece of cogent dissent.
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