The story takes place in current times, in a small village somewhere between North Africa and the Middle East. The women fetch water from a mountaintop spring in the blazing sun. They’ve done that since the beginning of time. Leila, a young bride, urges the women to launch a love strike: no more cuddling, no more sex until the men run water into the village. [Synopsis courtesy of the Cannes Film Festival]
Eager to provide a better future for her son, Fadi (Melkar Muallem), divorcée Muna Farah (Nisreen Faour) leaves her Palestinian homeland and takes up residence in rural Illinois — just in time to encounter the domestic repercussions of America’s disastrous war in Iraq. Now, the duo must reinvent their lives with some help from Muna’s sister, Raghda (Hiam Abbass), and brother-in-law, Nabeel (Yussuf Abu-Warda). Cherien Dabis writes and directs.
Salma, a Palestinian widow, has to stand up against her new neighbor, the Israeli Defense Minister, when he moves into his new house opposite her lemon grove, on the green line border between Israel and the West Bank. The Israeli security forces are quick to declare that Salma’s trees pose a threat to the Minister’s safety and issue orders to uproot them. Together with Ziad Daud, her young Palestinian lawyer, Salma goes all the way to the Israeli Supreme Court to try and save her trees. Her struggle raises the interest of Mira Navon, the Defense minister’s wife, who is trapped in her new home and in an unhappy life. Despite their differences and the borders between them the two women develop an invisible bond, while forbidden ties grow stronger between Salma and Ziad. Salma’s legal and personal journey lead her deep into the complex, dark and sometimes funny chaos of the ongoing struggle in the Middle East, in which all players find themselves alone in their struggle to survive. [Synopsis courtesy of IFC Films]
Christine’s beauty salon is heaving with female clients: a bitter divorcée, a religious woman, a lunatic addicted to prescription drugs and a young bride-to-be among others. But their day of leisure is disrupted when gunfire breaks out across the street. A gangland family has stolen the lion from Gaza’s zoo, and Hamas has decided it’s time to settle old scores. Stuck in the salon, the women start to unravel… [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]
Tai is 17 years old. Naim is 20. She’s Israeli. He’s Palestinian. She lives in Jerusalem. He lives in Gaza. They were born in a land of scorched earth, where fathers bury their children. They must endure an explosive situation that is not of their choosing at an age where young people are falling in love and taking their place in adult life. A bottle thrown in the sea and a correspondence by email nurture the slender hope that their relationship might give them the strength to confront this harsh reality to grapple with it, and thereby ever so slightly change it. Only 60 miles separate them but how many bombings, check-points, sleepless nights and bloodstained days stand between them?
A bittersweet comedy that plays out around a family coming to terms with grief, disclosures, secrets and reckoning, Rock the Casbah follows one family during the three days of mourning called for by Moroccan custom, as they reunite in their deceased patriarch’s villa. When youngest daughter, Sofia, arrives unexpectedly, sparks start to fly. She left for America — against her father’s wishes — to become a successful actress, but she only ever landed roles in TV series playing terrorists. Secrets come out, throwing the order once maintained by their patriarch into turmoil.
Paradise Now is filmed from the perspective of two Palestinian men who are predestined to perform a suicide attack in Israel. This is the first film to deal with the subject of suicide attackers.
In Majdal Shams, the largest Druze village in Golan Heights on the Israeli-Syrian border, the Druze bride Mona is engaged to get married with Tallel, a television comedian that works in the Revolution Studios in Damascus, Syria. They have never met each other because of the occupation of the area by Israel since 1967; when Mona moves to Syria, she will lose her undefined nationality and will never be allowed to return home. Mona’s father Hammed is a political activist pro-Syria that is on probation by the Israeli government. His older son Hatten married a Russian woman eight years ago and was banished from Majdal Shams by the religious leaders and his father. His brother Marwan is a wolf trader that lives in Italy. His sister Amal has two teenager daughters and has the intention to join the university, but her marriage with Amin is in crisis. When the family gathers for Mona’s wedding, an insane bureaucracy jeopardizes the ceremony.
Mary and Joseph make the hard journey to Bethlehem for a blessed event in this retelling of the Nativity story. This meticulously researched and visually lush adaptation of the biblical tale follows the pair on their arduous path to their arrival in a small village, where they find shelter in a quiet manger and Jesus is born.