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Let It Be Morning

Starring a talented all-Arab cast, Eran Kolirin’s subtle satire, Let It Be Morning, unfolds in a remote Israeli Arab village before and after a wedding. Based on a novel by Sayed Kashua, it draws a portrait of the current Arab condition in Israel.

It will be presented today at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, which runs until June 26.

Sami (Alex Bakri), a high-tech executive, leaves his home in Jerusalem to attend his younger brother’s wedding. Accompanying him are his wife Mira (Juna Suleiman) and their son, Adam. Sami is clearly bored and distracted by the ceremony. At one point, he sneaks off to call his Jewish mistress.

En route back to Jerusalem, he’s forced to turn around by an army checkpoint. He returns to his father’s home, hoping the problem will be resolved by the following day. He has an important meeting in Jerusalem and cannot be late. As he later learns, the army is looking for construction workers from the West Bank who are working illegally in Israel.

With time on his hands, Sami, a dour type, opens up. He looks up Abed (Ehab Elias Salami) — an old friend and taxi driver who’s estranged from his wife and in debt to a gangster — and confesses he’s not really a good person. And he tells his mother he is having an affair.

As Sami waits patiently for the checkpoint to reopen, he makes unsettling discoveries about the status of Arabs in Israeli society and learns that some of the village residents are displeased with the status quo and upset with Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

Let It Be Morning is not as accomplished as one of Kolirin’s previous movies, The Band’s Visit (2007), an international hit, but it raises relevant issues and is never less than thought-provoking.

About the Author
Sheldon Kirshner is a journalist in Toronto. He writes at his online journal, SheldonKirshner.com
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