Palestinian director Elia Suleiman offers quiet observation of the absurd world around him in It Must Be Heaven, playing at the Salmar Classic on Saturday, Feb. 15. (Contributed)

It Must Be Heaven, a meditative look at home and identity, to play Salmar

Cinemaphile by Joanne Sargent

Palestinian director Elia Suleiman is in every scene of his movie It Must Be Heaven, but he speaks only one line of dialogue.

Likened to a modern-day Buster Keaton, Suleiman quietly observes the absurdities of the world around him and responds with a cockeyed look or quick double-take that speaks louder than words. As one reviewer said, the movie is visually so loaded with meaning that it renders words useless.

Suleiman is an artist disenchanted with life in Palestine. In his film he plays himself, travelling to Paris and New York, perhaps to re-locate, and to hopefully secure funding for his latest film. His first impressions are picture-postcard versions of the cities, but as he spends more time there, he finds they are as alienating, oppressive and complex as his home. He discovers that “…we all now live in a kind of global Palestine, where arbitrary displays of power, threats of violence and lost people in search of meaning and identity are the new normal,” explains Lee Marshall of Screendaily.

Read more: VIDEO: ‘Parasite’ wins best picture at Academy Awards

Read more: Hollywood movie in North Okanagan to star 2 ‘well-known’ actors

Suleiman’s gift is his inventive ability to convey this uneasiness in the lightest of terms, making each scene an amusing encounter between his silent, panama-hatted self and the oddities around him. The imaginative film consists of vignettes of ordinary encounters and surreal scenes, most of which feature deadpan or slapstick comedy, but there’s metaphor and meaning, too. Through his observations of small wonders and incongruities, he offers a meditative look at questions of home, identity and belonging.

It Must Be Heaven shows at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15 at the Salmar Classic Cinema. And don’t forget our week-long 13-film International Film Festival starts Friday, Feb. 21.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Couple in crash on Highway 1 mistake North Shuswap for Lower Mainland

Chase RCMP report Mercedes Benz collides with transport truck

Province looking into pollution complaint at Shuswap dairy farm

Farm along the Salmon River has drawn complaints from the Okanagan Indian Band

Salmon Arm RCMP, new immigrants get acquainted at police station

Tour of detachment provides opportunity to explore differences in judicial systems

Shuswap speedskater takes on international competition in Poland

Salmon Arm’s Laura Hall too fourth place with Canadian team

Salmon Arm gives tax break to Canoe Forest Products plywood plant

Company tax bill to be reduced while residential taxpayers to pick up shortfall

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Ryan nets hat trick in return as Senators beat Canucks 5-2

Ottawa winger received assistance for admitted alcohol problem

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Laughing ladies and country artists sell out Okanagan venue

Alan Doyle and I Am Woman, Hear Me Laff! back to back sold out

Revelstoke mother and daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Ministry grants SD67 extension to balance books, submit amended budget

The board of trustees voted Monday to acquire outside help to deal with budget concerns

Most Read