It Must Be Heaven | Denver Film Society | Elia Suleiman | France

It Must Be Heaven

Elia Suleiman

EnglishFrance201997 min

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Overview

Palestinian writer/director Elia Suleiman plays a version of himself in this charmingly deadpan comedy about leaving everything you know behind—only to find that your homeland stubbornly follows you no matter where you roam.


E.S. leaves his native Nazareth for Paris to obtain funding for his next film. He’s initially awed and enchanted by the parade of beautiful Parisian women snaking past his café and the sight of paramedics delivering a made-to-order meal to a homeless man. But the silent observer—Suleiman doesn’t utter a single word, using only his wonderfully expressive face to register emotion—encounters increasingly rigid and hawkish attitudes in cleverly choreographed scenes juxtaposed by images of jingoistic military parades.


So E.S. keeps moving, this time landing in an even more absurd New York City, where grocery shoppers navigate the produce section with automatic weapons slung over their shoulders and a would-be meeting with a film producer is thwarted because buddy Gael Garcia Bernal (again, playing himself) fails to convince the money men that E.S.’ comedy about peace in the Middle East is a viable project.


Envisioning the rest of the world as a “macrocosm of Palestine,” It Must Be Heaven explores identity, nationality, and belonging, ultimately asking whether it’s ever truly possible to find a place to call home.

Producer: Martin Hampel, Thanassis Karathanos, Michel Merkt, Serge Noël | Editor: Véronique Lange | Cinematographer: Sofian El Fani | Screenwriter: Elia Suleiman
Cast: Gael García Bernal, Ali Suliman, Kwasi Songui, Elia Suleiman, Grégoire Colin
Additional Countries: Qatar, Germany, Canada, Turkey

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