Even in the midst of intense political conflicts, people try to get on with their lives. So it is with Mariam and Bassam, a Palestinian couple who met during the relatively peaceful summer of 2000. This wonderfully observant film follows their relationship from courtship to marriage, and beyond. Bassam, a telephone repairman in Cleveland, returns to Palestine to find a “home-made” bride. He quickly meets and marries the young Mariam, but leaves he in Palestine with his family. Soon afterward, a new intifada takes place and violence erupts throughout Palestine. Life in wartime is brilliantly evoked: people talk on cell phones, quarrel and cook dinner while tanks are shelling buildings a few blocks away. After many months, Bassam is able to procure a visa for Maraiam, but she soon discovers that life is exile in the UC is not what she expected. This charming film says a great deal about love, courtship, and the roles of women and men in Palestinian society, while touching on the details of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.
Thirty years ago, Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass (known for Succession as well as films like Lemon Tree and Paradise Now) left her village in Galilee to follow her dreams of acting in France. In this poignant portrait, both deeply personal and inescapably political, filmmaker Lina Soualem — who is also Abbas’ daughter — traces the story of her mother, her mother’s mother, and their extended family, all of whose lives have been defined by separation, exile, and displacement. Interwoven with nostalgic home video recordings and rich archival footage of Palestinian life through the decades, Bye Bye Tiberias is a moving memoir about the burden of leaving, the endurance of memory, and the determination to forge one’s own destinies and identities.
Screenings & Events
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- Jean-Marie Nizan
- Lina Soualem, Nadine Naous, Gladys Joujou
- Gladys Joujou
- Frida Marzouk
- Hiam Abbass
- Amine Bouhafa
- Be All Productions, Altitude 100 Production, Philistine Films
Documentary Program Sponsors
Cynthia Stone Raskin