Gaza Mon Amour Receives Wide Critical Acclaim at Venice International Film Festival

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A little gem of (seeming) simplicity and intelligence

Gaza Mon Amour Receives Wide Critical Acclaim at Venice International Film Festival

Directed by Tarzan and Arab Nasser, Palestinian film Gaza Mon Amour received wide critical acclaim during its world premiere at the 77th Venice International Film Festival. In the presence of its directors, along with Salim Daw and Hiam Abbass, the film received a five-minute standing ovation after its screening. The film marks the only Arab official selection at both festivals, the Venice International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival this year.

On the other hand, the film has been praised by international film critics; “…brilliant second feature film by the Palestinian directing duo, a little gem of (seeming) simplicity and intelligence," says Fabien Lemercier on Cineuropa. He added, “Tarzan and Arab Nasser display an innate sense of humour, proving beyond a doubt with Gaza Mon Amour that this really isn’t the last time the world of film will hear of them”.

Through Hollywood Reporter, film critic Jordan Mintzer also wrote, “This second feature from the directing duo of Tarzan and Arab Nasser (Dégradé) has hints of Jim Jarmusch and Aki Kaurismäki, although it feels closest to the witty, surreal works of fellow Palestinian Elie Suleiman”.

On ScreenDaily, Jonathan Romney described the film as “Altogether low-key but highly likeable, this portrait of a cantankerous but ultimately charming elderly loner shows that the spirit of Italian neo-realism still lingers powerfully in world cinema, with dashes of magic realism and absurd comedy leavening the mix”.

Recently, the film has been selected to screen at the Toronto International Film Festival (10-20 September) at the Discovery section, marking the only Arab entry at the festival this year. The film will also receive 5 screenings during the festival.
Gaza, today. Sixty-year-old fisherman Issa is secretly in love with Siham, a woman who works as a dressmaker at the market. Finally determined to propose, Issa discovers an ancient statue of Apollo in his fishing net, which he decides to hide at home. When local authorities find out about this mysterious treasure, troubles begin for Issa.

Directed by the Nasser brothers, Gaza Mon Amour features an all-star cast, including Salim Daw, Hiam Abbass, Maisa Abdelhadi, Georges Iskandar, Hitham Al Omari, and Manal Awad. The film was officially selected at the 2019 Berlinale Co-Production Market.

The film is produced by the French company Les Films du Tambour (delegate producer), in a France- Germany-Portugal- Palestine-Qatar co-production with Riva Filmproduktion (Germany), ZDF/Das kleine Fernsehspiel in collaboration with ARTE (Germany), Ukbar Filmes (Portugal), Made in Palestine Project (Palestine), and Jordan Pioneers. The film is distributed in the Arab world by MAD Solutions.

The film received the support of Eurimages, Centre National du Cinéma et de l'Image Animée (CNCI), Filmförderungsanstalt, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, L’Aide aux Cinémas du Monde – Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée – Institut Français, and co-production grants for Franco-Portuguese Films from the Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual, RTP - Rádio e Televisão de Portugal, and the Doha Film Institute, in association with Versatile, Dulac Distribution, and Alamode Film.

Twins Tarzan and Arab Nasser were born in Gaza, Palestine, in 1988. They studied Fine Arts at Al-Aqsa University and became passionate about cinema and paintings. They directed Condom Lead (15 min, 2013), which got selected in the Official Competition at the Cannes Film Festival 2013. Their first feature film, Dégradé (85 min, 2014), made its world premiere at Cannes’ Semaine de la Critique 2015, and also screened at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. Gaza Mon Amour is their second feature-film.