Chronicle of a Disappearance

Chronicle of a Disappearance

Director: Elia Suleiman, Ula Tabari, Fuad Suleiman, Nazira Suleiman

Cast: Elia Suleiman, Ula Tabari, Fuad Suleiman, Nazira Suleiman

     
 
Deceptively simple and executed with a documentary feel, this drama represents a highly personal journey home for ex-patriot Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman. The film is divided into two sections. The first documents the paradoxical but sleepy existence in the Arab part of Nazareth. The second part takes a more political view of the city and in it, Suleiman takes

Overview

Deceptively simple and executed with a documentary feel, this drama represents a highly personal journey home for ex-patriot Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman. The film is divided into two sections. The first documents the paradoxical but sleepy existence in the Arab part of Nazareth. The second part takes a more political view of the city and in it, Suleiman takes a more active role. He has come to his former home in search of inspiration, but what he sees are many disturbing images of Arab people trapped in a cultural identity crisis, a point best illustrated by the plight of a young Arab woman who wants more independence than traditionally allowed in her part of town but cannot find it because of prejudiced residents on the Jewish side.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Chronicle of a Disappearance garnered worldwide critical acclaim for its seemingly uneventful, but slyly subversive depiction of Palestinian life in Israel. Those expecting a sensational or violent account of life under occupation will not find it here. Writer/director Elia Suleiman's audacious film initially seems to be a series of unconnected, sporadically amusing vignettes of life in Nazareth and Jerusalem. Suleiman's camera is usually stationary, and he often shoots these quick snippets from a distance. Some of the segments are almost defiantly tedious, as when the owner of a tacky souvenir shop repeatedly and unsuccessfully tries to get a cheap camel statuette to stand up on the shelf. Through Suleiman's meticulous camera placement and clever choice of subjects, an outsider's moving vision of a lost people -- a people in stasis -- gradually comes into focus. Suleiman's own appearances in the film in two extended set pieces exemplify the work's laconically amusing style and subversive power. In the first, he's introduced to an indifferent audience to explain his filmmaking methodology. A baby in the crowd starts crying. A chorus of cell phones rings. Every time Suleiman starts to speak, feedback wails, and a technician runs up to fiddle with the microphone. The room is soon filled with noise. In a later, more politically direct scene, Suleiman's home is invaded by Israeli policemen, who charge through, presumably looking for him, or for the police radio he's found. But as they move through his home with military precision, they don't acknowledge him standing right in front of them. Later, he listens on the radio as they inventory his home and deride him as "an airhead" and "an intellectual." In his fragmented, personal, self-critical, and low-key way, Suleiman makes his point that the disappearance he's chronicling is that of the identity of his people.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/06/2005
UPC:
0738329041328
Original Release:
1996
Rating:
NR
Source:
Kino Video
Time:
1:28:00

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Chronicle of a Disappearance
1. Personal Diary [7:46]
2. The Day After, Part I [7:37]
3. Days Went By [8:15]
4. The Priest [7:01]
5. The Writer [8:02]
6. Political Diary [6:50]
7. The Director [4:22]
8. Grief [5:59]
9. The Day After, Part II [6:32]
10. "This Is One" [7:18]
11. The Promised Land [7:01]
12. Last Homeland [7:37]

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