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HomeReview‘To A Land Unknown’: Cannes Review

‘To A Land Unknown’: Cannes Review

Dir. Mahdi Fleifel. Palestine. 2024. 105mins

Two determined Palestinian cousins are hopelessly stranded in Athens, Greece, in Mahdi Fleifel’s heartbreaking migrant drama. Arrestingly plotted and bracingly acted, this story in regards to the biting hardships confronted by refugees who’ve left the hazard of their homeland solely to be left nationless might hardly be extra related. The one Palestinian characteristic premiering at Cannes, To A Land Unknown is crafted with painstaking care, and options two sturdy lead performances which can be thoughtfully translated to the display by an empathetic lens. 

 Grounded, and emotional

Ever since Chatila (Mahmood Bakri) and Reda (Aram Sabbah) arrived paperless in Greece from Lebanon, they’ve been attempting to to migrate to Germany with the dream of opening a restaurant. However discovering a approach there isn’t simple. Shopping for pretend passports additionally requires substantial funds, which these two cousins don’t but have. They flip to varied unavoury strategies to fund their journey paperwork: stealing from unsuspecting locals within the park, shoplifting sneakers and promoting them on the road and even turning to prostitution. 

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After all, it’s inconceivable to view To A Land Unknown and never contemplate what’s presently occurring in Gaza. Fleifel, who profiled the refugee camps of Lebanon in his award-winning 2012 documentay A World Not Ours, explores what it feels wish to be nationless, to be caught between borders that aren’t your individual, between the life you as soon as led and the life you hope to steer once more. You find yourself clinging to the closest reminder of house. For Chatila, house is Reda. 

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Chatila is the extra accountable of the pair, dutifully stowing away their earnings. He additionally has a spouse and a two-year-old son nonetheless in a Lebanese camp who he hopes to carry over as soon as he has earned sufficient money in Germany. That aim renders him critical and single-minded, a tone Bakri hones by means of his stern manner and tense physique. Reda, then again, is a recovering drug addict, whose clear moments not often lasts greater than a month. Sabbah a has quiet, delicate power. You may guess Reda has most likely all the time regarded towards Chatila for steerage, and Chatila has all the time labored exhausting to maintain his unmoored cousin secure. Their partnership involves a head, nonetheless, when Reda blows their cash on medicine, that means they’ll have to begin yet again

To A Land Unknown is a movie whose rigidity escalates from the myriad setbacks skilled by this pair. They encounter Malik (Mohammad Alsurafa), a younger boy left in Greece with none dad and mom, attempting to journey to his aunt in Italy. For some time, Malik’s presence creates some heat scenes between the trio which supply this bleak story a few of its few moments of pleasure. But this makeshift household doesn’t final; Chatila hatches a plan to scrounge up money by returning the kid to his aunt by means of Tatiana (Angeliki Papoulia), a tenacious Greek lady he’s relationship. It’s a easy scheme with loads of problems. And it’s the problems that provides To A Land Unknown a biting spirit. As a result of in a world through which the political, emotional, and authorized deck is stacked in opposition to refugees, failure is ever current.

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Among the somber temper arises from the manufacturing design. Chatila and Reda occupy an overpopulated, dilapidated nook of Athens the place many others from the Center East sleep, and it’s populated by drug sellers, enforcers, and different shady characters. The movie all of a sudden shifts, turning into an intense kidnapping thriller. Even with the change, nonetheless, it stays grounded and emotional, balancing these style conceits with a famous humanism: we see simply how far Chatila is prepared to go to perform his desires.

Manufacturing corporations: Inside Out Movies, Nakba Filmworks

Worldwide gross sales: Salaud Morisset

Producers: Mahdi Fleifel, Geoff Arbourne

Screenplay: Mahdi Fleifel, Fyzal Boulifa, Jason McColgan

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Cinematography: Thodoris Mihopoulos

Manufacturing design: Ioanna Soulele

Modifying: Halim Sabbagh

Music: Nadah El Shazly

Principal forged: Mahmood Bakri, Aram Sabbagh, Mohammad Alsurafa, Angeliki Papoulia, Mouataz Alshalton, Mohammad Ghassan, Monzer Reyahnah


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