Screened as part of NZIFF 2001

Jalla! Jalla! 2000

Directed by Josef Fares

Sweden In Arabic and Swedish with English subtitles
88 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay

Production Co

Memfis Film
Film i Vast
Dramatic Institute


Anna Anthony

Executive Producers

Lars Jonsson
Lukas Moodysson


Aril Wretblad


Michal Leszczylowski
Andreas Jonsson

Costume Designer

Denise Ostholm


Daniel Lemma


Fares Fares (Roro)
Torkel Petersson (Måns)
Tuva Novotny (Lisa)
Laleh Pourkarim (Yasmin)
Leonard Terfelt (Paul)
Jan Fares (Father)
Sofi Ahlstrom Helleday (Jenny)


This racy hit comedy about true love, sex and cultural differences is a triumph of economical filmmaking and further vital evidence of an invigorated Swedish cinema. Shot, attractively, on digital video by 23-year-old Josef Fares, the film stars his older brother in the leading role, with his darkly muttering grandmother and stomach-butting father in scene-stealing character parts.

Laddish, but obviously good-natured, the film’s comedy and its amusingly tied-up plot spring from the romantic problems of two best friends. Måns, bald-shaven but presumably born blonde, and Roro (like Fares) born in Lebanon, are in their 20s and working together for the parks department.

Roro is crazy about his Swedish girlfriend but has long delayed introducing her to his alarmingly traditional family. Just as he’s about to take the plunge, they announce that they’ve arranged his marriage to a Lebanese-Swedish girl. The beautiful bride-to-be is as appalled as he is, but asks him to go along with the engagement so that she won’t be sent back to the old country. Misunderstandings ensue until the entire cast is assembled for a hilariously improbable, mask-rending showdown.

Måns’ problem is more prosaic. Despite considerable ingenuity on both their parts, he can’t get it up with his longtime girlfriend. The Swedish reputation for sexual frankness is upheld, however, in Måns’ comically inept encounters with a variety of sex aids.

The film was executive-produced by Together director Lukas Moodysson, and has been a huge popular hit in Sweden, returning its minuscule budget in no time. The title means ‘Hurry! Hurry!’ in Arabic and perfectly encapsulates the film’s ebullient approach to the trials and rewards of integration. — BG