A drama with romantic undertones from the Nasser Brothers, made in Palestine, now on VOD
Gaza Mon Amour, new from filmmaker duo The Nasser Brothers, is a sort of love letter to Palestine and its residents. Salim Dau plays Issa, a longtime bachelor who slowly starts changing up his daily routine. First, he tells his younger sister (Manal Awad, Huda’s Salon) he is ready for marriage. He has someone in mind, although he hasn’t yet spoken to the woman when he makes this decision. Then he catches something unusual during one of his nightly fishing hauls and has to smuggle it through his usual checkpoint.
Hiam Abbas (Satin Rouge, HBO’s Succession) is Siham, a widow who works as a seamstress and lives with her young, already divorced, daughter Leila (Maisa Abd Elhadi, Huda’s Salon). Siham is the type to try to stay productive even during persistent power cuts. She worries about how the women’s clothing shop she manages might stay in business.
The muted palette of Gaza Mon Amour illustrates the limitations placed on the land and its people, and the half-empty store that Issa’s friend owns — and later runs away from— is a specific visual example. The film never leaves the viewer doubtful about its setting, although some of the laws of the land are used for comedic effect. As Issa hopes to find a way to talk to Siham — taking pants into her shop to hem — he becomes overwhelmed with legal troubles involving his discovery from the deep.
There are romantic elements to Gaza Mon Amour, but overall it’s more a dark comedy than anything. Shared scenes between the characters of Siham and Issa are limited. It’s fully enchanting and laugh-out-loud funny, but anyone looking for a full-on romance might be disappointed.
Gaza Mon Amour is now available on VOD.