Elia Suleiman is in every scene of It Must Be Heaven, but he only speaks four words. The writer-director-star plays his alter ego ES, who escapes from Palestine seeking an alternative homeland, only to find that Palestine is trailing behind him. The promise of a new life turns into a comedy of errors; however far he travels, from Paris to New York, something always reminds him of home.
This latest film from Palestinian director Elia Suleiman, which won a Special Mention in Cannes Film Festival 2019 is a comic saga exploring identity, nationality and belonging, in which Suleiman asks the fundamental question: where is the place we can truly call home?
“This poignant, minor-key work from the only major filmmaker to carry the torch of silent comedy into the 21st century is rich with feeling. As Suleiman wanders from Paris to New York, It Must Be Heaven amounts to a meta film that explains why he doesn’t make movies more often and presents a very solid case for why he should.”
Elia Suleiman’s film The Time That Remains is also showing at this year’s festival.
It must be Heaven
France, Qatar, Germany, Canada, Turkey, Palestine
English, French, Arabic, with English subtitles