It Must Be Heaven 2019

Directed by Elia Suleiman World

Palestinian director Elia Suleiman’s artfully composed, comedic contemplation of his place in the world discerns universal truths and absurdities in the minutiae.

Jul 30

The Civic Theatre

Jul 31

The Civic Theatre

Canada / France / Germany / Palestine / Qatar / Turkey In Arabic, English and French with English subtitles
102 minutes CinemaScope / DCP
PG
offensive language

Director/Screenplay

Producers

Édouard Weil
,
Laurine Pelassy
,
Elia Suleiman
,
Thanassis Karathanos
,
Martin Hampel
,
Serge Noël
,
Zeynep Ozbatur Atakan

Photography

Sofian El Fani

Editor

Véronique Lange

Production designer

Caroline Adler

Costume designer

Alexia Crisp-Jones
,
Éric Poirier

With

Elia Suleiman (himself)
,
Gael García Bernal (himself)
,
Tarik Kopti (neighbour son)
,
Kareem Ghneim (neighbour father)
,
George Khleifi (waiter)
,
Ali Suliman
,
Fares Muqabaa
,
Yasmine Haj
,
Grégoire Colin (man in the metro)
,
Vincent Maraval (producer)
,
Claire Dumas (ambulance member)
,
Antoine Cholet (ambulance member)
,
Nancy Grant (producer)

Awards

FIPRESCI Prize
,
Cannes Film Festival 2019

Elsewhere

Droll and astute, Elia Suleiman’s (Divine Intervention, NZIFF02; The Time That Remains, NZIFF09) latest deadpan outing, which topped the international critics list at Cannes, utilises the Palestinian auteur’s expressive Buster Keaton-like visage as its vehicle for exploring national and personal identity in a shifting global context. A plethora of cities are framed into perfectly composed backdrops (by award-winning Timbuktu cinematographer Sofian El Fani) against which Suleiman observes the melancholy-laced humour of the everyday.

“Filmed in his charming hometown of Nazareth and an oddly deserted Paris, with visits to New York and Montreal, a gossamer story is built around ordinary events and chance encounters. Playing himself without speaking a word for the whole film, the writer-director is an attentive, ironic observer of the human comedy in a world of global tension and paranoia... Suleiman’s gift is his ability to convey this uneasiness in the lightest of terms, making each scene an amusing encounter between his silent Everyman and the oddities around him. He doesn’t need overtly political topics; even an ornery sparrow will do to illustrate the obstacles in life.” — Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter

“Mostly, It Must Be Heaven is about how we view the world through the Instagram filter of what defines us. But it’s also, arguably, more objective than that – suggesting that we all now live in a kind of global Palestine, where arbitrary displays of power, threats of violence, and lost people in search of meaning and identity are the new normal.” — Lee Marshall, Screendaily