Director: Elia Suleiman
Collecting both the Jury Prize and FIPRESCI awards at Cannes this year, Elia Suleiman's Divine Intervention offers a singular view of Palestinian communities fraying at the edges - conveyed with a Jacques Tati-like absurdist sensibility. In Nazareth, Israel, a man (Elia Suleiman) tries to end a cycle of petty feuds that threaten to break both bones and morals. While his father lies dying, he attempts to realise a romance with a woman in Ramallah, Palestine. The politics prohibits them from loving each other freely and their intimacy stops at an Israeli military checkpoint between the two cities. It is on a nearby parking lot that their love blooms.
After winning the Best First Film Prize at the 1996 Venice Film Festival for Chronicle of a Disappearance, Nazareth-born director-writer Elia Suleiman decided on a film project uncompromising in its portrayal of the hardships - of both the body and the heart - of everyday Palestinians. Sulemian's aesthetic commitment is cleverly manifested when, carried by the wind, a balloon with the effigy of Arafat bravely crosses the border that keeps apart the two protagonists' love.
Prior to Divine Intervention, Elia Suleiman (born in Nazareth, Israel, 1960) directed two films, including War and Peace in Vesoul (1997) and Cyber Palestine (1999).