5 user 30 critic

When Pigs Have Wings (2011)

After a tempest, fishermen do not find only fish in their nets. That is what happens to Jafaar, a poor fisherman who lives poorly in Gaza. And what he hauls in is really upsetting : imagine... See full summary »


Sylvain Estibal


Sylvain Estibal (screenplay)
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sasson Gabai ... Jafaar (as Sasson Gabay)
Baya Belal Baya Belal ... Fatima
Myriam Tekaïa Myriam Tekaïa ... Yelena
Gassan Abbas Gassan Abbas ... Barber
Khalifa Natour ... Hussein
Lotfi Abdelli Lotfi Abdelli ... Young Policeman
Ulrich Tukur ... Officer U.N.
Khaled Riani Khaled Riani ... Salesman
Uri Gabay Uri Gabay ... Netsah
Ido Shaked Ido Shaked ... Soldier Terrasse 1
Thierry Lopez Thierry Lopez ... Soldier Terrasse 2
Zohar Wexler Zohar Wexler ... Colony Soldier
Maurad Saad ... Jihad Cameraman
Khereddine Ennasri Khereddine Ennasri ... Jihadist 3
David Leguesse David Leguesse ... Jihadist 2


After a tempest, fishermen do not find only fish in their nets. That is what happens to Jafaar, a poor fisherman who lives poorly in Gaza. And what he hauls in is really upsetting : imagine that, a pig! An unclean animal judged impure not only by the Faith of Islam but also by the Jewish religion. Determined to get rid of the animal, Jafaar tries desperately to sell it, first to a United Nations official, then to a Jewish colony where Yelena raises pigs not for their meat but for security reasons. Of course, going unnoticed in the company of a "forbidden" animal, among his Palestinian brothers, past Israeli soldiers and under the scrutiny of Islamic fundamentalists is no bed of roses and a series of misadventures await Jafaar.... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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France | Germany | Belgium


English | Arabic | Hebrew

Release Date:

21 September 2011 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Cuando los chanchos vuelen See more »


Box Office


€4,574,488 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


French visa # 125254. See more »


Fatima: He said if you didn't repay him your debt you'd end up in jail
Jafaar: What did you answer him?
Fatima: That we are already in jail!
See more »


Referenced in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2011 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

When trouble follows you, what will your next move?
10 April 2014 | by Reno-RanganSee all my reviews

An English-Arabic-Hebrew language movie from a debuntant French director which unfolds the story of an unwealthy Gazan and his incredible adventure. The most sensitive issue was told in very enjoyable comical style, it might be Israel and Palestine or Islam-Jewish and pig. One of a rare movie, which was smartly made and will be better than you expect.

The story of a poor fisherman from Gaza who end up of having a pig in his net during fishing. The animal is a bad omen according to his religion which forbids to sight. He takes advice from his friend who instruct to kill it, but for his soft-heartedness he let it live. Soon or later everyone around him going to find it so he need to send it from where it came. Those his adventures become our great entertainment throughout.

Like I said very interesting material used for this story with gentle characters. The opening is undoubtedly sweeps our attention completely with fine character and story developments. But in the middle kind of little muddles without much happening in the story, more like everything were paused at once. And again hurried last portion hits like a lightening pace till the end.

As per the final scene a sequel can be expected. I will be happy if the director had a plan for that because the character Jafaar is the reason. Kind of Wes Anderson style presentation, I said a little especially on the humorous side. A good movie to choose for purely entertainment purpose for its diverged elements.

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