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Thursday, January 12th, 2012

THE TIME THAT REMAINS

The movie
starts with the invasion of Palestine by the Israeli Army in 1948 and what
follows is a very highly personalized account by an Arab Israeli of how life
has continued there since then.  Most of
the story is about filmmaker Elia Suleiman’s parents, and tell how his father’s
resistance to the occupying forces is met with brutality that almost kills him
and his spirits. There are long moments of silence in the telling of his story
as he just sits and smokes witnessing how their lives no longer move forward at
all.

What sets
this account of the 50 + years since, is that Suleiman has a real sense of the
absurd and tells it like a farce with a series of bizarre vignettes that are
both satirical and very funny.  He
doesn’t hide the anger and bitterness the Palestinians feel at the humiliation
they suffer at the hands of the Israelis, instead he somehow finds comedy in the cruelty.

In the
latter part of the story Mr Suleiman pays himself on the screen like a silent
witness as he watches ill matched Israelis and Palestinians trying to achieve
some kid of normalcy in the face of the never ending political strife and
almost total indifference.  Time has
passed, his parents are dead, fashions have changed but the daily struggle to
survive in this volatile place is still the same.

The movie
ends with a heavy techno remix of the Bee Gees ‘Staying Alive’, which on the face
of it may seem odd, but after watching this delightfully fresh and quirky wee
film for almost the past 2 hours you know its an inspired final track.

This is
unquestionable a  refreshing and honest
memoir of survival, and despite it’s tough topic it doesn’t linger on the
inevitable heaviness but is in fact refreshingly simple and thus making it rather
a splendid movie.  It does makes an
interesting change to see a well documented period of recent history told from
another perspective, and like Schnabel’s ‘Miral’ last year, it’s good to see it
from a Palestinian viewpoint.

P.S. Mr Suleiman picked up a Palme D’Or Nomination for this. 

★★★★★★★★★


Posted by queerguru  at  00:13

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