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Tel Aviv on Fire
November 25, 2019-8:00 pm
Tel Aviv on Fire
8.00pm Monday 25 November
Tel Aviv on Fire (תל אביב על האש) is a 2018 Israeli comedy-drama satire film, written and directed by Sameh Zoabi. The film premiered internationally at the 75th Venice International Film Festival in the Orizzonti section, where Kais Nashef won the Best Actor Award. The Israeli premiere was at the Haifa International Film Festival, where the film won the Best Film and Best Screenplay awards.
Salem (Kais Nashef), is a Palestinian from East Jerusalem who is a low-level production assistant on the soap opera Tel Aviv on Fire in Ramallah. Following a lie he tells Asi (Yaniv Biton), an officer at the checkpoint he must pass through every day to get to work, Salem is suddenly promoted to be a screenwriter on the show. There is only one problem – Salem can’t write screenplays. To avoid getting fired, Salem makes a deal with Asi, who helps him write in exchange for fine Palestinian hummus, and a promise that the series’ plot will end with a wedding. However, the Palestinian investors want a different ending, and Salem finds himself in a bind.
Anyone who tries to make a comedy about the absurdities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has to walk such a fine line, it’s a nearly impossible feat. With every attempt at humor, the director risks offending everyone. But with Tel Aviv on Fire, Sameh Zoabi pulls it off, or nearly pulls it off – his film is going to alienate many, both Jews and Arabs, by its very premise, but people who are less doctrinaire will find it funny and touching. Jerusalem Post