In this tragi-comic chronicle about everyday life in Palestine, Elia Suleiman himself plays the taciturn and pretty miserable looking hero with the initials E.S. His fiancée lives on the other side of an Israel control post, so the two lovers can only meet at the checkpoint. Together they observe the world around them in silence. Reality seems more absurd than the best joke. A man dumps his rubbish every day in the neighbour’s garden. A Father Christmas is molested by angry children. A balloon with the face of Arafat cocks a snoot at all the checkpoints and floats over Jerusalem, while on the ground, the soldiers bungle around in an attempt to arrest the balloon. A little later, we see the soldiers exercising on a target in the form of a Palestinian woman. Suddenly a real ninja fighter looms up in front of them. The spectacular and cartoonesque action scene that ensues includes special effects that would not be out of place in The Matrix. Comparisons have already been made with the films of Tati, Nanni Moretti, Otar Iosseliani, Roy Andersson and Buster Keaton, but that would not do justice to the idiosyncrasy of Suleiman’s second feature, that has a sour and melancholy taste in its political and personal element.
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