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Wajib

 

Country: Palestine, Colombia, Germany, France, Norway, Qatar

Length: 96 min.

Director: Annemarie Jacir

Language: Arabic, Dutch subtitles

Premiere: 28-03-2019

Cast: Mohammad Bakri, Saleh Bakri, Maria Zreik, Leila Bakri

Director Annemarie Jacir moves to the forefront of Palestinian filmmaking with this alternately moving and dryly funny dissection of the clash between modernity and tradition in Nazareth’s Palestinian community. Traditional father and hipster son Mohammad and Saleh (played perfectly by real-life father-and-son duo Mohammad and Saleh Bakri) are on a mission to hand-deliver the wedding invitations for Saleh’s sister’s wedding to friends and family throughout Nazareth. This is considered a traditional duty (wajib), and it allows Jacir to craft a zeitgeist film full of insight into the daily tensions and generational conflicts faced by Palestinians today. But it also allows for Jacir’s sense of humour to come to the fore—that the wedding invitations have been printed with the wrong date is just one slyly funny mix-up. The combination of politics and humour makes for an utterly winning film.

‘Jacir continues to impress with this poignant, bittersweet comedy of estrangement and identity… Dry humour and understated heartbreak intersect as Jacir deftly blends the personal and the political in deceptively effortless fashion… With a superb lightness of touch she uncovers the ancient hurts with which these characters wrestle, laying bare the raw nerves beneath the polite smiles.’—Mark Kermode, The Guardian

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