Palestinian director Elia Suleiman's films to stream for free to US audiences

Presented by the Arab Film and Media Institute, the award-winning director will also take part in an online talk this May

Elia Suleiman in his latest film 'It Must Be Heaven'. Carole Bethuel
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Throughout the month of May, a retrospective of Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman's work, one of the most prominent figures in Palestinian cinema today, will be made available.

All four feature films which the director has written, directed and starred in, will be accessible online for free to audiences in the US from this Friday to May 30. This showcase is co-presented by the Arab Film and Media Institute, the Arab American National Museum and the Middle East art platform ArteEast. To watch his films, head to this link.

Born in 1960 in Nazareth, Suleiman's first feature film was Chronicle of a Disappearance in 1996. The film won him the Best First Film Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1996.

His second feature film, Divine Intervention, won the Jury Prize at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival and the International Critics Prize by the International Federation of Film Critics at the festival.

The Time That Remains, the director's third film, was also selected at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and won the Black Pearl Award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival in 2009.

His fourth and latest film, It Must Be Heaven, was also selected at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and was awarded the Jury Special Mention award at the festival where it received a six-minute standing ovation. The satire film follows the story of a Palestinian man (Suleiman playing himself), who leaves Palestine in search of a better life only to find out that the same problems he faces are everywhere he goes.

Suleiman's work generally explores the themes of identity, nationality and belonging in relation to his homeland.

In addition to the streaming of his films, there will also be a live talk with the director on Sunday at Arab Film and Media Institute.

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