DVD Divine Intervention [DVD] [2003] [Multilingual] [Region 1] (DVD 15903),
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Divine Intervention [DVD] [2003] [Multilingual] [Region 1]

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • DIVINE INTERVENTION writer-director Elia Suleiman has been compared to Woody Allen and Charlie Chaplin, presumably because he has Allen's intelligent, self-deprecating humor and Chaplin's gift for silent comedy. DIVINE INTERVENTION is not a silent film, but an intensely quiet comedy about daily life in the West Bank and Israel. Suleiman provides a series of not-altogether-related vignettes of people choked with boredom and drained of compassion, such as an angry mob of adolescents stabbing Santa Claus, or the neighbor who throws garbage onto the property next door (and complains when its thrown back), or checkpoint soldiers who sing and dance, and look menacing doing so. Though there is no distinct protagonist in this atypical satire, the filmmaker plays himself returning to Nazareth to help his ailing, hospitalized father (Nayef Fahoum Daher). Between visits to the hospital, where patients chain smoke in the halls outside their rooms, Suleiman falls for a West Bank woman (Manal Khader). Restrictions force them to carry out their relationship with only some hand-holding in the parking lot of the Israeli checkpoint between their two cities.

    DIVINE INTERVENTION favors extended, slow-paced scenes that seem suspended in time until they are punctuated with supercharged Arabian dance music like Madonna producer Mirwais Ahmadazi's "Definitive Beat" or Natacha Atlas's unbelievable cover version of Screamin' Jay Hawkins's "I Put A Spell On You." Though the characters often seem too distracted by anxiety and anguish to really connect with one another, Suleiman's sense of humor giddily overrides all the darker messages here, as in the climactic sequence--reminiscent of Monty Python--in which armed men in choreographed unison shoot at a target outlined in the figure of a veiled woman and she refuses to capitulate.
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  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): DV3075

  • Credits
    Elia Suleiman, Emma Boltanski, Amer Daher, Jamel Daher, Naeif Daher, George Ibrahim, Salman Nattor, Nazira Suleiman
  • Critic Reviews
    "...There is an oblique, elegant sense of structure here. The interlocking series of setups, punch lines and non sequiturs add up to something touching, provocative and wonderfully strange..."
    New York Times

    "...Suleiman's best moments, like Godard's, come hurtling out at you like satirical shrapnel..."
    Entertainment Weekly

    "...The film has been compared to the comedies of Jacques Tati, in which everyday actions build to an unexpected comic revelation..."
    Chicago Sun-Times

    "[S]atisfying, thought-provoking..."
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