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.
In this wry, absurdist tale of mid-life restlessness, husband and father Waleed dreams of becoming a successful novelist yet is plagued by a severe case of writer’s block. Neither his therapist nor his family are able to offer much support, but when he forges an unlikely connection with his new neighbor, petty criminal Jalal, his fortunes seem to shift. Under the auspices of research for his next novel, Waleed tags along with Jalal on his illicit daily routine, leading to a series of fraught situations that find Waleed out of his depth. Featuring a winsome winsome lead performance from Amer Hlehel and a dry, hilarious script, Mediterranean Fever is a sly, charming story of friendship and personal crisis told with a melancholic wit reminiscent of The Sopranos.
Screenings & Events
Wed, Oct 19 @ 5:30pm CDT
at AMC River East, Screen 20
Thu, Oct 20 @ 5:30pm CDT
at AMC River East, Screen 4
- Baher Agbariya, Thanassis Karathanos, Martin Hampel, Juliette Lepoutre, Pierre Menahem, Marios Piperides, Janine Teerling
- Maha Haj
- Véronique Lange
- Andreas Antoniou
- Antoine Heberlé AFC
- Amer Hlehel, Ashraf Farah, Anat Hadid, Samir Elias, Cynthia Saleem, Shaden Kanboura
- Jorg Weimann, Adrian Baumeister, Florian Marquardt, Henry Uhl
- Munder Odeh
- Majdal Films, Pallas Films, Still Moving, AMP Filmworks, Metafora Production
Livestream Filmmaker Q&A:
With directors Tarzan & Arab Nasser
Sixty-year-old Palestinian fisherman and lifelong bachelor Issa (Salim Daw) holds a secret torch for Siham (Hiam Abbas), a dressmaker at the market. Just as he is getting up the courage to propose to her, Issa nets an ancient statue of a well-endowed, larger-than-life-sized Apollo. When the Hamas authorities get wind of the existence of this mysterious treasure, the troubles begin. Has Apollo fated Issa to a loveless life? Will he be able to find his way back to Siham? Twin directors Tarzan and Arab Nasser (Dégradé) return to the Festival with this gentle, layered love story set against a playfully sly snapshot of life in modern-day Gaza, with all of its entanglements and absurdity.
“Gaza Mon Amour offers up a vision of the Palestinian situation at once realistic and absurdist, revealing how even the simplest of love stories can be thwarted by a repressive government.”