Divine Intervention

Elia Suleiman

France, Palestine, Morocco, Germany, 2002 / 90 min / Arabic & Hebrew OV with French & English subtitles / Drama


In Nazareth, under a guise of banal normalcy, the town embraces folly. Under pressure from his failing business, a man takes matters into his own hands and tries to break a chain reaction of petty feuds. He breaks down himself. The man is E.S.’s father. A love story takes place between a Palestinian man living in Jerusalem and a Palestinian woman from Ramallah. The man - E.S. - shifts between his ailing father and his love life, trying to keep both alive. Because of the political situation, the woman's freedom of movement ends at the Israeli army checkpoint between the two cities. Barred from crossing, the lovers' intimate encounters take place on a deserted lot right beside the checkpoint. The lovers are unable to exempt reality from occupation. They are unable to preserve their intimacy in the face of a siege. A complicity of solemn desire begins to generate violent repercussions and against the odds, their angry hearts counter-attack with spasms of spectacular fantasy.

Sat 12/03 13:30 Cinémathèque AR/HEB OV with FR & NL UT Public
  • Jury Prize, Competition, Cannes Film Festival, 2002
  • FIPRESCI Prize, Competition, Cannes Film Festival, 2002
Cast & Credits
Elia Suleiman, Manal Khader, Nayef Fahoum Daher
Elia Suleiman
Marc-André Batigne
Véronique Lange
Ognon Pictures, Arte France Cinéma

Elia Suleiman lived in New York City for a decade before moving back to Palestine to teach film and media at Birzeit University. His first film, Chronicle of a Disappearance, won the Best First Film Prize at the 1996 Venice Film Festival. In 2002, Divine Intervention won the Jury Prize and the FIPRESCI Prize of the Cannes Film Festival as well as the prize for best foreign film at the European Awards in Rome. His last feature film titled It Must Be Heaven won the Jury Special Mention in Cannes in 2019, and the FIPRESCI Prize of the Cannes Film Festival.

  • 2019 – It Must Be Haven
  • 2012 - 7 Days in Havana (co-directed)
  • 2009 - The Time That Remains
  • 2002 - Divine Intervention
  • 2000 - Cyber Palestine – short
  • 1998 -The Arab Dream – short
  • 1996 - Chronicle of a Disappearance – short
  • 1992 - Homage by Assassination, episode of: Harb el kalij... wa baad/The Gulf War... and After) – short
  • 1990 - Introduction to the End of an Argument – short