It’s always a good time to watch Palestinian films, but arguably, it’s more important to divulge in its film scene now than ever. Thanks to the Arab Film and Media Institute, one of Palestine’s most renowned film catalogues is made accessible for everyone to dive into.
The organization is hosting an Elia Suleiman film retrospective, bringing his award-winning films to the internet. Set to kick off on May 21, the director’s masterpieces will be available for you to watch in a Video-on-Demand style, for free. Yes, that includes Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize winning film Divine Intervention.
The digital event comes as part of a partnership between the Arab Film and Media Institute, The Arab American National Museum, ArteEast and Doha Film Institute. The films are available for viewers to watch at any time for a period of 10 days, until May 30. To close things off, a live virtual talk with Suleiman himself will take place.
Suleiman directed four feature films throughout his career, all with a heavy focus on Palestine and Palestinian identity. His first film Chronicle of a Disappearance, which was released in 1996 to international critical acclaim, stars Suleiman alongside his relatives and others as he documents his journey returning to the West Bank after 12 years of absence. Without a concrete storyline or character arcs, the film was created to portray the unsettling feeling of Palestinian statelessness.
Most recently, Suleiman released his latest film It Must Be Heaven, which competed for the Palme D’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Like Chronicle of a Disappearance, Suleiman also stars in It Must Be Heaven as himself, this time escaping Palestine for New York City, only to be confronted similar problems in the big apple.