6.6/10
3,076
47 user 71 critic

Divine Intervention (2002)

Yadon ilaheyya (original title)
Separated by a checkpoint, Palestinian lovers from Jerusalem and Ramallah arrange clandestine meetings.

Director:

Elia Suleiman

Writer:

Elia Suleiman

On Disc

at Amazon

6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War | Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Morocco | Germany | Palestine

Language:

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 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,699, 24 January 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$390,847, 20 July 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The music used in the opening credit sequence is from an Arabic song by Mohammed Abdulwahab from the 1950s called "Me, suffering, and your love" which are what the majority of the film is about. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Les Kid Nappeurs
Composed & Performed by Marc Collin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Many People Are Missing The Point
21 August 2008 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

I remember seeing a clip from this film which involved Palestinians at a roadblock having to endure humiliation from the Israeli soldiers manning it . The scene then cuts to the Palestinian protagonist stopping his car beside a Jewish settler . I was expecting something to happen at this point but nothing did and decided to catch DIVINE INTERVENTION when it made an appearance at the Edinburgh filmhouse very recently to see if it made sense in a wider context

I'll say one thing about Elia Suleiman and that is he know's how to hook an audience in to a story since this contains a truly memorable opening sequence where a much loved icon meets with some violence which will distress anyone who's hoping for some Christmas gifts . Unfortunately he's unable to continue the momentum of this and we quickly find ourselves in Michaelangelo Antonioni territory . It's been said that both Buster Keaton and Jacques Tati have influenced Suleiman but I believe Antonioni has a far more obvious effect . For example a character offers cigarettes to two other characters who then wave their hands in to shot showing that they are already holding lit cigarettes something the character would have been aware of but not the audience . Other examples would be the exploding tank which seems to have been inspired by ZABRASKIE POINT , or a character continually being told there's no bus as he stands at a bus stop and , but perhaps the most obvious example would be the ending involving a pressure cooker . Antonioni likes to irritate the audience with portent enigmas and Elia Suleiman has done the same here along with a few stylistic nods to Robert Bresson

Unfortunately many people on this site and the handful of people in the audience of The Edinburgh Filmhouse seem to have misunderstood DIVINE INTERVENTION somewhat . This was most obvious during the discussion afterwards held by a distinguished epistemological film critic tried to concentrate on the ideas and influences behind the film and kept having the subject changed by useless idiots who were compelled to inform us all they knew about " fascist Israelis " and how the film didn't go far enough in " showing the brutality of the Israeli occupation " . Duh well it's not about the " brutality of the Israeli occupation " - it's about the absurdity of life under occupation and of the wider absurdity of everyday life . If you go and watch this film with a closed mind then you'll fail to understand it . DIVINE INTERVENTION isn't a great film but it's certainly one that can be appreciated by cinephilles rather more than mindless politicised idiots of what ever side of the Middle Eastern fence they're on


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