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UW Cinematheque | “It Must be Heaven” (2019)
March 31 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Palestine’s leading cinematic auteur Elia Suleiman (Divine Intervention) has returned with his first feature in ten years: a comic chronicle of an artist looking for funding for his next project. Without uttering more than a handful of words, Suleiman plays himself, a writer-director who leaves his oft-absurd daily life in Nazareth to court producers and actors (including Bernal) in Paris and New York City. Concerned with a lot more than just show business, Suleiman fixes his camera on a number of droll characters and situations: a ballet of cops on Segways, an all gun-carrying citizenry of Manhattan, and a stubborn, implacable sparrow, among many others. Told in a series of sequences that are as deadpan as the expression on Suleiman’s face, It Must Be Heaven recalls the comic genius of Jacques Tati, Jerry Lewis, and Sweden’s Roy Andersson. “Affably self-effacing meta-commentary blankets the film, skewering the very notion of a standard-bearing national artist by revealing how tenuous geographic borderlines can be” (Charles Bramesco, Little White Lies).