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Israeli director Maysaloun Hamoud’s film shows us Palestine from a different perspective, focusing on Tel Aviv’s nightlife and the story of three girls: Laila, Salma and Noor
The film tells the story of three Palestinian girls living in Israel: Laila (Mouna Hawa), Salma (Sana Jammelieh) and Noor (Shaden Kanboura), the new roommate. The three share an apartment in the center of Tel Aviv and each of the girls drags stories and problems behind. Noor feels oppressed by her promised spouse, Salma is secretly a lesbian in a traditionalist family and Laila cannot find a man who respects her for who she is. After the initial hesitations between Noor and the two, a strong bond will be created that will be able to solve, in one way or another, the various difficulties.
The film shows us Tel Aviv and the Palestinian reality in a different light, showing us, rather than the clashes, examples of the life of some Palestinians in Israel. The director’s ability, here at the directorial debut, was precisely not to risk concentrating too much on the external environment, giving history the space it deserves.
The choice to use as primarily Arab actors and as “technical” mainly Israeli was then a successful move. In fact, no particular differences are perceptible in the film and this benefits the story that can be fully enjoyed. The structure of the film is still very simple and in many places quite obvious but the intention of the film was certainly not to be a blockbuster. Instead, she fully manages to show us the night Tel Aviv and the contrast it has with the environment around her.
The film is absolutely pleasant and enjoyable but it is not a masterpiece full of who knows what hidden meanings. In Between has a title that could explain by itself the whole plot with the desire for freedom of the three and the presence in every love story. The film is however strongly recommended for an afternoon or a summer evening, especially if you want to keep your head busy but not too busy. The vision he gives of Israel and Tel Aviv is then very interesting and almost unedited. The latest gem concerns the presence of Tamer Nafar, leader of the DAM band, as an appearance, really spot on.
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