AJFF Selects: Tel Aviv on Fire
June 19 @ 7:40 pm - 10:00 pm
A soap opera writer finds himself caught in the crossfire of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the audacious, big-hearted satire Tel Aviv On Fire.
A charming thirtysomething Palestinian slacker, Salam (Kais Nashef) drives between Jerusalem and the West Bank for his lowly job as a production assistant on a cheesy soap opera, where his uncle is a top exec. The TV show, whose action is set just before and during the Six Day War, is stilted and melodramatic but has a devoted following in both Israel and the Territories. Stopped each day at a checkpoint to reach the television studio, Salam crosses paths with an authoritarian Israeli commander Assi (Yaniv Biton), who begins contributing his own ideas for the show. Aspiring to make it as a screenwriter, Salam becomes entangled in an absurd series of quid pro quos, the action jumping slyly among fiction, fact and farce in skewering Middle East politics.
Says Screen Daily: “Sameh Zoabi’s zippy comedy takes clever basic ingredients and runs with them, affectionately lampooning stereotypical attitudes about Arabs and Jews and how each group supposedly demands to be depicted.” Best Israeli Film winner at the Haifa International Film Festival.
AJFF Selects screenings are made possible by the generous support of the Helen Marie Stern Memorial Fund.