Most Palestinian films focus on the impact of politics and how the fraught relations with the Israeli state affect the lives of Palestinians. This delightful feature from Maysaloun Hamoud takes a seemingly more apolitical approach. And yet there’s a palpable subtext at play here about the oppressive treatment of women from the territory by their own people, affecting those leading secular lives as well as the religiously observant, Muslims and Christians alike.
In a Tel Aviv apartment, Muslim lawyer and chain-smoking party girl Layla (Mouna Hawa) and her friend Salma (Sana Jammelieh), a lesbian from a Christian family who floats through an assortment of service sector jobs, welcome a new flatmate, hijab-wearing Nour (Shaden Kanboura). Nour is in her last year of university, studying computer science and engaged to a priggish jerk (Henry Andrawas) who wants her to move somewhere in Jaffa, so she won’t have to mingle with “whores” like Layla and Salma. Although from very different backgrounds and with very different goals in life, these three shekels in a fountain gradually bond.
That might make this sound soppy, but the script’s nuanced treatment of the complex relationships and a feel for the many-faceted, multicultural city in which it’s set – a unique urban blend of hedonism and tradition, bound together by hummus and history – redeem any shortcomings.
Source: The Guardian