It Must Be Heaven
Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
It’s been ten years since Palestinian writer-director-star Elia Suleiman last made a feature film - The Time That Remains, VIFF 09 - and his acute mix of visual wit and political satire-cum-critique has been sorely missed. His return to the big screen sees him once again portraying the sad-sack, Keaton-esque Everyman trying to make sense of a senseless world, but this time around he extends his canvas beyond his native land. The first joke here is that the sad-sack Everyman is Elia Suleiman himself, an inscrutable film director in search of funds for a new movie. As he travels to Paris and New York, where he meets with some incredibly obtuse producers, he observes the surreal, the droll, and the beautiful - alongside a lot of disconcerting, uniformed security people - wherever he goes. Suleiman’s world is unique, and although it may have been enlarged here, it still metaphorically points back to his roots in Palestine and the daily suffering endured there.
"Whimsical and wistful yet infused with a yearning for the stability of place… [The film offers] a new perspective, a different way of understanding what it means to be Palestinian in a global context."- Jay Weissberg, Variety
Special Mention, FIPRESCI Prize, Cannes 19