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Lamma shoftak (2012)

Not Rated | | Drama | 15 January 2014 (USA)
2:16 | Trailer

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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 »


Annemarie Jacir


Annemarie Jacir (screenplay)
7 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Mahmoud Asfa Mahmoud Asfa ... Tarek
Ruba Blal ... Ghaydaa
Saleh Bakri ... Layth
Anas Algaralleh Anas Algaralleh ... Mr. Nasser
Ali Elayan Ali Elayan ... Abu Akram
Ruba Shamshoum Ruba Shamshoum ... Zain
Ahmad Srour Ahmad Srour ... Touissant
Firas Taybeh Firas Taybeh ... Majed (as Firas W. Taybeh)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Husam Abed Husam Abed ... Al Arabi
Fadia Abu Ayash Fadia Abu Ayash ... Jihan
Rafa' Abu Ayash Rafa' Abu Ayash ... Lena
Ammar Abu Shawish Ammar Abu Shawish ... Antar
Mahmoud Al Hayek Mahmoud Al Hayek ... City Boy 1
Bashar Al Khallaylleh Bashar Al Khallaylleh ... Al Qanas
Ahmad Al Muhaisan Ahmad Al Muhaisan ... City Boy 2


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 thousands of refugees pour across the border from Palestine. Having been separated from his father in the chaos of war, Tarek, 11, and his mother Ghaydaa, are amongst this latest wave of refugees. Placed in "temporary" refugee camps made up of tents and prefab houses until they would be able to return, they wait, like the generation before them who arrived in 1948. With difficulties adjusting to life in Harir camp and a longing to be reunited with his father, Tarek searches a way out, and discovers a new hope emerging with the times. Eventually his free spirit and curious nature lead him to a group of people on a journey that will change their lives. When I Saw You is the story of people affected by the times around them, in search of something more in their lives. A journey full of adventure, love, humor... Written by Lamma Shoftak Co.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site


Arabic | English

Release Date:

15 January 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

When I Saw You See more »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The official submission of Palestinian Territories to the Best Foreign Language Film of the 85th Academy Awards 2013. See more »


The broken-down car is a 1970 Dodge Coronet sedan introduced well after the movie's setting in 1967. See more »


Written & performed by Cat Stevens
Published by BMG Rights Management (UK)
(P) 1967 Decca Music Limited
special thanks to Univeral Music MENA
See more »

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User Reviews

Agitprop, but with style and realism
18 January 2014 | by MengedegnaSee all my reviews

The film is a stylish, well-acted piece of agitprop, with fine cinematography and pretty good production values overall, and with a core plot line that is deeply touching, reflecting reality as it must have been lived by millions in the times (just after the 67 war) in which it is set. Until the final sequence, which is more than over the top and breaks with the fairly rigorous realism of the rest, it avoids a lot of the overemphatic character drawing and acting that afflicts so much Arab filmmaking.

There have been Palestinian films of yet greater subtlety, but the filmmaker is to be commended for leaving the Israelis offscreen (save for some ghostly Land Rovers out on patrol). The story line starts with the intimate, day-to-day realities of life in the refugee camps, made to appear pretty much like life anywhere at first and then, progressively and with commendable restraint, shown to be unbearable. Tarek, the small boy at the center of the film, apparently both dyslexic and mathematically gifted, is perhaps just a little too adorable, but the young actor is well-directed and mostly believable in his childish obsession with returning home and finding his father, oblivious to danger or to the reality involved in getting there. His mother is superbly acted, showing devotion to her son, but a wide range of other human feelings, including fed-upness, as well, all done with great understatement.

For many, there will be some wistful nostalgia (and for others, perhaps, snorts of derision) at the depiction of a then-embryonic Palestinian resistance in which young men and women mix freely as comrades, and in which the only Book in use is the little red one of Chairman Mao. Not a hint of piety in the whole film, not even a call to prayer in the distance. Different times.

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