The Time That Remains (NC)

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The Independent Culture

Elia Suleiman's memoir of his family under Israeli occupation continues the mood of his earlier Divine Intervention (2002).

His is a deadly serious subject – the subjugation of Palestine – framed and composed in a deadpan style, with comic tableaux, recurring jokes and chasmic leaps in time. Central to its narrative is his stoical father Fuad (Saleh Bakri, brilliant), who survives arrest and torture in 1948 to endure several decades of Israeli interference in the Suleiman hometown of Nazareth. At one stage he even saves the life of an occupying soldier, an incident that might have been made more instructive than it is. Suleiman himself takes over in the latter stages, presenting a blank Keatonesque face to the world as he deals with the decline of his ageing parents.