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Divine Intervention (2002)

Yadon ilaheyya (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance, War | 2 October 2002 (France)
Separated by a checkpoint, Palestinian lovers from Jerusalem and Ramallah arrange clandestine meetings.


Elia Suleiman


Elia Suleiman
6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Elia Suleiman ... E.S.
Manal Khader Manal Khader ... Woman
George Ibrahim ... Santa Clause
Amer Daher Amer Daher ... Auni
Jamel Daher Jamel Daher ... Jamal
Lufuf Nuweiser Lufuf Nuweiser ... Neighbor with American van
Read Masarweh Read Masarweh ... Abu Basil
Bassem Loulou Bassem Loulou ... Abu Amer
Salwa Nakkara ... Adia (as Salvia Nakkara)
Naaman Jarjoura Naaman Jarjoura ... Uncle
Rama Nashashibi Rama Nashashibi ... Um Elias
Saiman Natour Saiman Natour ... Friend
Fairos Hakim Fairos Hakim ... Bus stop shopkeeper
Khalil Jarjoura Khalil Jarjoura ... Number 6 man
Hamada Shamout Hamada Shamout ... Basil


Santa Claus tries to outrun a gang of knife-wielding youth. It's one of several vignettes of Palestinian life in Israel - in a neighborhood in Nazareth and at Al-Ram checkpoint in East Jerusalem. Most of the stories are droll, some absurd, one is mythic and fanciful; few words are spoken. A man who goes through his mail methodically each morning has a heart attack. His son visits him in hospital. The son regularly meets a woman at Al-Ram; they sit in a car, hands caressing. Once, she defies Israeli guards at the checkpoint; later, Ninja-like, she takes on soldiers at a target range. A red balloon floats free overhead. Neighbors toss garbage over walls. Life goes on until it doesn't. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance | War | Comedy


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This movie Won the following International Awards: 1- Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival 2- FIPRESCI Prize (competition) at the Cannes Film Festival 3- Special Jury Prize at the Chicago International Film Festival 4- Screen International Award at the European Film Awards

This movie was also Nominated for the following International Awards: 1- Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2- Best Non-American Film at the Bodil Awards

But, it was twice rejected consideration for an Academy Award; guess why. See more »


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 »


Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »


Performed by Joi
See more »

User Reviews

A unique allegory of tolerance
9 December 2008 | by Benedict_CumberbatchSee all my reviews

I would be lying if I said I loved this film. However, writer-director-actor Elia Suleiman created a pretty unique, bizarre allegory of tolerance in Palestine that deserves at least one viewing.

"Divine Intervention" is composed of a circle of vignettes that vary from "Father Feels Sick" to "I Am Crazy Because I Love You". Using minimalist settings, economic dialogue and bizarre, surreal situations that involve a dying Santa Claus and a female ninja, Elia creates a mosaic of apparently disconnected types and caricatures. His "message" is illustrated in a not so subtle metaphor by the last scene. Even though "Divine Intervention" doesn't always succeed, Suleiman deserves special mention for daring to experiment in a way that most filmmakers are afraid to. Not a bad thing to do. 7/10.

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France | Morocco | Germany | Palestine


Arabic | Hebrew | English

Release Date:

2 October 2002 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Divine Intervention See more »

Filming Locations:

East Jerusalem, Palestine See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,228, 19 January 2003

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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