One of the most insightful and unique films ever to explore life in the West Bank, this documentary follows the charismatic mayor of the Palestinian city of Ramallah.
The titular subject of this gripping documentary is Musa Hadid, the mayor of Ramallah, a Palestinian city ten miles north of Jerusalem. Director David Osit follows the widely admired politician as he goes about his job, much of which would be familiar to any bureaucrat: organizing the city’s Christmas celebrations, planning for the installation a flashy public fountain, and attracting tourists with a somewhat generic new slogan (“WeRamallah”). Yet Hadid must also grapple with more existential challenges, notably the enduring legacy of the 1967 Six-Day War and Israeli occupation and the persistent threat of violence. In Hadid, Osit has captured an unlikely hero: a mustachioed civil servant whose level-headed optimism begins to seem heroic in light of the obstacles facing him on a daily basis. Not content to recycle preconceived ideas about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Osit balances broad sociopolitical commentary, granular personal detail, and an unexpected strain of melancholy humor, leading to a singular portrait of contemporary Palestinian politics and daily life.
In Competition: Documentary Feature Award
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