IT MUST BE HEAVEN
Helmer Elia Suleiman lends his signature deadpan style to this autobiographical saga of a middle-aged director attempting to make a home in Palestine, Paris, and New York.
Over the course of four remarkable features, Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman has honed one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary cinema. Though his immaculately composed, nearly dialogue-free films have frequently earned comparisons to such comedic masters as Buster Keaton and Jacques Tati, Suleiman’s work is distinguished by a potent strain of social critique rooted in the troubled history of his homeland. Following its wide-eyed protagonist as he leaves his birthplace of Nazareth in search of seemingly more cosmopolitan environs abroad, It Must Be Heaven is Suleiman’s most penetrating exploration of identity and nationality to date. Suleiman once again stars as a variation on himself: a middle-aged filmmaker struggling to secure funding for his next project. In a series of droll vignettes, Suleiman observes the people and cultural practices of each country, amplifying their peculiarities to comically absurd extremes (think Brooklyn hipsters toting automatic weapons at the supermarket). Yet even the wackiest of Suleiman’s set-ups carry with them a grain of melancholy truth, and this exile’s perspective on the tumultuous state of the world is as insightful as it is delightful.
CAST: ELIA SULEIMAN, GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL, KWASI SONGUI, OSSAMA BAWARDI
All sales are final. Admission is not guaranteed after scheduled start time.
CLICK HERE to return to the complete 28th Philadelphia Film Festival schedule.