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aka YADON ILAHEYYA
USA: Avatar Films
UK: Artificial Eye Film Co
Cast: Elia Suleiman, Emma Boltanski, Amer Daher, Jamel Daher, Nayef Fahoum Daher, George Ibrahim, Manal Khader, George Khleifi, Avi Kleinberger, Salman Nattor, Menashe Noy, Michel Piccoli, Nazira Suleiman
Director: Elia Suleiman
Country: France / Palestine / Morocco
Language: Arabic / Hebrew (English subtitles)
USA: 92 mins
UK: 93 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language and moderate violence
USA Release Date: 17 January 2003 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 17 January 2003
A popular Jury Prize winner of the International Critics Prize at Cannes Film Festival 2002, DIVINE INTERVENTION uses the most subversive weapon of all - humour - to portray the mood of the escalating Middle East conflict. Filled with witty visual gags and a bravura style the film features Palestinian writer / director Suleiman in the central role as E.S. Subtitled "A Chronicle of Love and Pain", DIVINE INTERVENTION follows a series of interrelated characters as they struggle to maintain the veneer of normal life in Nazareth. Trapped in a land that denies them basic human rights, the film defines the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory in painfully explicit terms.
Under pressure from his failing business, a man (E.S.'s father) takes matters into his own hands and tries to break a chain reaction of petty feuds only to break down himself. While caring for his ailing father in Jerusalem, E.S. is trying to keep his love life on track. She, a Palestinian living in Ramallah is barred from crossing the Israeli checkpoint between the two cities. The lovers' intimate moments take place in a deserted lot beside the checkpoint, where they watch the daily hostilities and petty feuds between the Israeli troops and the Palestinian/Israeli civilians play out.
Largely made in the spirit of a modern silent movie DIVINE INTERVENTION recalls the comic genius of Jacques Tati and Buster Keaton's deadpan delivery. The film unfolds with a series of expertly executed fantasy sequences and sight gags to depict the absurd and even perverse manifestations of the conflict in everyday events and petty jealousies. In the laughter created from such bleakness, there is a sensation of triumph in the face of adversity.