Archive of films Man Without a Cell Phone / Ish li'lo cellularit

France / Palestine / Israel / Belgium / Qatar
2010, 80 min

Section: Forum of Independents - Competition
Year: 2011

Jawdat is 20 years old and he was born in a small Palestinian town transferred to Israeli control relatively recently. Bickering between the original inhabitants and the Israeli administration is the order of the day. For instance, Jawdat’s conservative dad is convinced that the new cell phone transmitter is damaging his olive harvest.... This tragicomedy about a young man who can’t wait to flee the family nest is the autobiographical debut of Sameh Zoabi.


Jawdat is twenty years old and comes from a Muslim family. He is studying at an Israeli university in Nazareth, but he’s not doing so well in his Hebrew lessons and wants to transfer to an Arab college. His origins also complicate his attempts to date the Jewish girl Jenine. And then he has arguments with his conservative dad Salem, who’s convinced that the nearby cell phone transmitter is damaging his olive harvest and the health of everyone in the vicinity. Jawdat’s cell phone is causing yet further problems: it seems that the police are suspicious of the young man’s innocent telephone conversations with a girl from the Palestinian territory.... In his feature film debut, Sameh Zoabi uses the current political conflict as a backdrop for his essentially apolitical tragicomedy about a youngster who just wants to flee the family nest. The film does have its autobiographical traits: like its protagonist, the director was also born in former Palestinian territory, an area constantly plagued by bickering between the original inhabitants and the Israeli administration.

About the director

Sameh Zoabi (b. 1975, Iksal, Israel) graduated in 1998 from Tel Aviv University with a dual degree in English literature and film studies. Over the next three years he studied on a scholarship at Columbia University in New York. In February 2005 he completed his degree in film direction at Columbia’s School of the Arts. He has made several successful short feature films, in particular Be Quiet (2005), the semi-autobiographical story of a father and his small son living in what was originally a Palestinian town, now Israeli territory; it won 3rd Prize in the Cinéfondation Selection at Cannes. He treats a similar theme in his feature film debut Man Without a Cell Phone.


Memento Films International
9, cité Paradis, 750 10, Paris
Tel: +33 153 349 020
Fax: +33 142 471 124

About the film

European premiere

Section: Forum of Independents - Competition
Director: Sameh Zoabi
Screenplay: Sameh Zoabi
Dir. of Photography: Hichame Alaouie
Music: Krishna Lévy
Editor: Simon Jacquet
Producer: Marie Gutman
Production: Meroe Films, Lama Films, Kanmakam, Versus Productions sprl
Cast: Razi Shawahdeh, Razi Shawahdeh, Basem Loulou, Louay Noufi, Maysa Abd Elhadi
Contact: Memento Films International


Sameh Zoabi

Film Director

Razi Shawahdeh



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