“Wajib,” a short father-son intimate drama, features a discussion on what it means to be a Palestinian abroad versus a Palestinian at home could not escape of Sara Netanyahu, PM wife’s legal scandals.
The film by Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir, premiering at the Toronto Film Festival, was festival chatter. An addition to talks surrounding Culture Minister Miri Regev’s criticism Foxtrot, a winner of Silver Lion in Venice Film Festival, which will also be screened at the Canadian festival.
In this particular scene, Mohammad and Saleh Bakri, father and son in real life, going around their home town, Nazareth. The two, well-played father and son, are on the way to hand over invitations to the wedding of their daughter/sister, Amal, played by Haifa actress Maria Zriek.
While sitting in the car, stuck in a traffic jam, they listen to an Arabic-speaking news anchor gives a news report. He updates about the corruption allegations charge against the prime minister’s former chief of staff, Gil Sheffer.
The news anchor added, “Sara Netanyahu said in response there won’t be anything”. It is a reference to the Prime Minister repeated mantra about the investigations against him and his wife: “There won’t be anything because there isn’t anything.”
Jacir refers to domestic discourse, and to the fact that the Israel is corrupted as many other politicians around the world. Perhaps she is spreading the news and poking fun at Prime Minister’s wife.
While Wajib lacks any open criticism towards Israel, it holds some topics hinting at government’s policies discrimination of its Arab communities. And with a veiled allusion to the occupation most of them humorous.
43-year-old Jacir was born in Bethlehem. She is a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) against Israel occupation of the Palestinian territories. She is an active protester against Israeli cinema on the international stage and producers who identify with Israel.
The movie is a Palestinian co-production with France, Germany, Norway, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. No Israeli funds were invested in its production.
The two leads act out their relationship well, contributing to the short film’s Oscar nomination.