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World Cinema

IT MUST BE HEAVEN

Year 2019
Runtime 97 mins
Language Arabic, English, French
Subtitles English Subtitles
Elia Suleiman’s first film in a decade is a charming comedy that won a special Jury mention at this year’s Cannes Festival.

Director Elia Suleiman plays himself as a mostly silent character who travels from Palestine to Paris and New York. At the film’s start, he quietly observes the regular routines in his neighbourhood whether it is his neighbour stealing lemons from his tree or neighbours fighting or steely confrontations with gang members at a restaurant. Deciding he wants a change of scenery, he packs his bags for Paris and then New York but he finds that no matter where he goes, he encounters reminders of his homeland.

Suleiman’s silent character is a modern day version of Jacques Tati’s Monsieur Hulot while his mannerisms echo Buster Keaton. As a result, the film is packed with delightful vignettes that feature a mix of deadpan or slapstick comedy and offers a meditative look at questions of identity and human behaviour.

Written by Sachin Gandhi
Awards
Cannes, Special mention
Festivals
Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Munich International Film Festival
Director
Elia Suleiman
Producer
Elia Suleiman, Edouard Weil, Laurine Pelassy, Thanassis Karathanos
Screenwriter
Elia Suleiman
Cinematographer
Sofian El Fani
Editor
Véronique Lange
Cast
Elia Suleiman, Gael García Bernal, Ali Suliman