Let It Be Morning - (2021)
Director: Eran Kolirin.
This is a tricky one...
This is an Israeli film made with Israeli money and by a Jewish (Ashkenazi) director, and it's based on a book by the Israeli-Arab author Sayed Kashua. The film's genre is "huggable Israeli drama" (דרמה ישראלית חיבוקית).
It won "Best Film Award" in Israel and was Israel's representative to the Oscars for "Best Foreign Film Oscar"
! This is not a Palestinian film !
Kashua was a teacher of mine in film-school, he taught me writing and I liked him a lot as a person. He openly talked about the fact that he became a "Pet Arab" in the Jewish-Israeli upper class culture. If I remember correctly, he is a "discovery writer" who doesn't outline his novels - and it shows clearly in this film.
The film starts with one of the best scenes I've seen in Israeli cinema, I was sure the film is going to be amazing after watching the opening wedding scene.
Unfortunately, the film has many problems, the biggest of which is writing:
The first half of the film is very interesting and I was following the protagonist with anticipation as he encounters more and more barriers and conflicts on his way to reach his goal - to leave the village.
But then, for some reason, I lost interest in this character, I felt like he is lacking personality, and he is quick to give up. Also, the way his family accepts his betrayal on his wife is boring - they just accept him as he is and forgive him, his wife is also submissive and forgive him without any consequences. He never really comes to terms with his flaws, because he doesn't need to - he doesn't have a real internal conflict to confront with.
The 2nd biggest problem with writing is the ending of the film. I had the feeling, as the film progressed (and diverted away from the main story) that time is running out and there will be not time for the protagonist to get to a climax and to take a big meaningful action towards his goals. Unfortunately, I was right. The way the story is structured doesn't give the protagonist a path to take action, he is a victim of the Israeli occupation and there is nothing he can do about it.
This is a very problematic statement by the film makers because it assumes there is nothing to do about the political conflict, salvation only comes from Israeli graces.
And the film ends like that exactly, with a miracle of grace from the Israelis who decided one day to open the road without any given reason. The massage I get is: A good Arab is a submitted Arab - This is the description of the protagonist and his "character arc".
* It's also interesting to note that the resistance movement in the village portrayed as the antagonists in that story. And when the little boy asks his father why doesn't he fight back after one of the bad guys hit him, his father (the protagonist) says: "we don't fight, only stupid people fight back."
- What kind of political massage is that?!
No wonder it won Best Israeli Film award last year and was Israel's submission to the Oscars.
No wonder it also didn't get a nomination; This film was manufactured for Upper-middle-class-Israelis who like to pet "good submissive Arabs" like the author Sayed Kashua.
I also didn't like the music. The cinematography is unremarkable with way too many close-ups. The performances are mediocre with some good moments, but not consistent.
Verdict: 0.5 / 5 ★ - Israeli propaganda.