One of the most acclaimed films to burst out of the True/False Film Festival dedicated to documentary cinema earlier this year was David Osit’s “Mayor.” The blackly comic documentary microcosm of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict zooms in on the highs and lows of the second term in office for Musa Hadid, the mayor of the Palestinian city of Ramallah. Film Movement will release the film in cinemas and virtual cinemas on December 2, including at New York’s Film Forum. Check out the first trailer for the film below, exclusive to IndieWire.
Here’s the official synopsis: “‘Mayor’ is a real-life political saga following Musa Hadid, the Christian mayor of Ramallah, during his second term in office. Surrounded on all sides by Israeli settlements and soldiers, most people in Ramallah will never have the chance to travel more than a few miles outside their home, which is why Mayor Hadid is determined to make the city a beautiful and dignified place to live. His immediate goals: repave the sidewalks, attract more tourism, and plan the city’s Christmas celebrations. His ultimate mission: to end the occupation of Palestine. ‘Mayor’ offers a portrait of dignity amidst the madness of endless occupation while posing a question: How do you run a city when you don’t have a country?”
IndieWire raved about the movie earlier this year, with Chief Film Critic Eric Kohn writing, “There have been countless documentaries made about the West Bank experience, from ‘5 Broken Cameras’ to ‘The Settlers,’ and they often involve the travails of ordinary life existing side by side with military persecution. ‘Mayor’ offers a striking new perspective on that struggle, with a personal on-the-ground quality matched by grand tonal ambitions that makes it the best of its subgenre. It might not change anyone’s mind about the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, but “Mayor” presents a fresh window into the challenges of leadership on the latter half of that equation.
Osit previously directed the News and Documentary Emmy-winning film “Thank You for Playing,” The film is a production of Rosewater Pictures and Teddy Leifer’s Rise Films; it was produced by Osit and executive-produced by Maxyne Franklin and Teddy Leifer.