It Must Be Heaven

Cannes favourite Elia Suleiman returns with another perfectly nuanced, disarmingly comical observation on what it means to be Palestinian.

Starting out in Palestine, but moving to Paris and New York, Suleimen’s (Divine Intervention, The Time That Remains) first film in a decade shifts its focus from portraits of Palestinians in their home territory to the wider diaspora, in France and New York. Comprised of vignettes, with the filmmaker at the centre of most of the action, the film takes as given our knowledge of the situation in Suleiman’s home and branches out further in exploring what it is to be a Palestinian in the world. The director still references the problems his fellow Palestinians face, but it’s through his deftness as a writer, director and performer that he finds new ways to present them to us. From lovely comic routines – it’s for good reason that Suleiman has been compared to Buster Keaton – to his signature choreographed dance sequences, It Must be Heaven is a rare cinematic joy: a film whose seriousness never undermines the pleasures it offers.

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Runtime 102 Minutes
Release date 2021
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