Man Without a Cell Phone

A humorous, sharp take on the social milieu of a Palestinian village inside Israel. Jawdat, a restless young concrete worker, just wants to have fun with his friends, talk on his cell phone and find love—a near impossible task in a place where politics and traditional values dominate. Adding to Jawdat’s problems is his curmudgeonly father, Salem, who establishes the film’s irreverent tone with his opening declaration of his people’s dilemma: “Coexistence, my ass!” Dragging Jawdat and the entire village into his outrageous battle against an Israeli cell-phone tower. The father’s hysterical behavior stands in stark contrast to his son’s cool attitude. The social injustice faced by Israel’s minority class only appears to take second place to a more jovial narrative here. That’s due to the smooth, sure-handed direction of Sameh Zoabi, who seems to realize that good-natured humor often produces a far stronger impact than bludgeoning audiences with polemics.

Original title:
Ish lelo selolari
83 minutes

Shown at

  1. Jerusalem Film Festival - 2011

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