Archive of films Laila's Birthday / Laila's Birthday

Palestine / Tunisia / Netherlands
2008, 72 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2009

Aging Abu Laila is a judge who is forced to drive a cab because the government has no money to pay him. One morning Abu gets into his yellow taxi fretting over a promise he made his wife: to be back by eight o’clock in order to attend his daughter’s birthday party. A chaotic workday in Palestine, however, begins to place obstacles in his way. Director Rashid Masharawi tries to find support in an optimistic outlook on domestic realities, oriented towards the objective values of interpersonal relations.


Synopsis

Aging Abu is a judge who is forced to drive a cab because the government has no money to pay him. One morning Abu gets into his yellow taxi fretting over a promise he made his wife: to be back by eight o’clock in order to attend his daughter Laila’s birthday party. His various fares come and go but Abu doesn’t forget his promise. A chaotic workday in Palestine, however, begins to place obstacles in his way. Confusion on the streets and in ideas, corruption and bureaucracy, demonstrations, and even the efforts of ordinary people to come to terms with everyday problems and the tense political situation – all this enters the protagonist’s cab and tries his patience. Director Rashid Masharawi is one of those Middle Eastern filmmakers who espouses a relatively moderate political position, and who tries to find support in an optimistic outlook on domestic realities, oriented towards the objective values of interpersonal relations.

About the director

Rashid Masharawi (b. 1962, Gaza) is a self-taught moviemaker who began working in the film industry in the 1980s. In 1994 he shot his first film, Curfew (Hattai ishaar akhar), which took the UNESCO Prize at the Cannes IFF. His second film, Haifa (1996), earned a number of awards at festivals in Rome, Barcelona, Egypt, and Tunisia. His other films also attracted international attention: Ticket to Jerusalem (2002) and Waiting (Attente, 2005). Masharawi is also a talented documentary filmmaker (e.g. Live from Palestine, 2002, Arafat, mon frère, 2005).

Contacts

Fortissimo Films
Van Diemenstraat 100, 1013 CN, Amsterdam
Netherlands
Tel: +31 206 273 215
Fax: +31 206 261 155
E-mail: info@fortissimo.nl
www: www.fortissimofilms.com

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Another View
   
Director: Rashid Masharawi
Screenplay: Rashid Masharawi
Dir. of Photography: Tarek Ben Abdallah, Nestor Sanz
Music: Kais Sellami
Editor: Pascal Chavance
Producer: Mohamed Habib Attia, Peter van Vogelpoel, Rashid Masharawi
Production: CineTeleFilms, Sweetwater Pictures
Cast: Mohamed Bakri, Areen Omari, Nour Zoubi
Contact: Fortissimo Films
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