A World Not Ours

A WORLD NOT OURS (Mahdi Fleifel). 93.

A WORLD NOT OURS (Mahdi Fleifel). 93 minutes. Some subtitles. Wednesday (October 4), 7 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox. See listing.

THE TORONTO PALESTINE FILM FESTIVAL at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor West), Jackman Hall (317 Dundas West) and TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King West), from Saturday (September 28) to Wednesday (October 4). See listings. tpff.ca. Rating: NNNN

Born in Dubai, raised in Denmark and now living in England, Mahdi Fleifel spent his summers with his Palestinian family in Lebanon’s Ain el-Helweh refugee camp. Returning as an adult, Fleifel discovers a community filled with so much repressed rage that the World Cup final can trigger violence between close friends who’ve backed different countries, and where wearing a shirt decorated with Japanese characters gets shopkeepers waving loaded guns at you because they mistake it for Hebrew.

In his conversations with his old friend Abu Eyad, Fleifel puts a human face on the despair of the exiled – a people who know the situation is both untenable and unresolvable and have absolutely no hope that anything better will emerge from the current stasis. I’m not totally sure the decision to score much of his home video footage with Woody Allen jazz standards was the best call, though.

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