Contemporary World Cinema

Wajib

Annemarie Jacir

Wajib 01

A father and his estranged son must come together to hand deliver his daughter's wedding invitations to each guest as per local Palestinian custom, in this rousing family drama from Annemarie Jacir (When I Saw You).

After years abroad in Italy, Shadi (Saleh Bakri) returns to his native Nazareth. But this is no spectacular homecoming. He's back somewhat begrudgingly to honour his "wajib" (or duty) to hand out invitations to his sister's wedding with his father, Abu Shadi (played by Saleh Bakri's real-life father, actor-director Mohammad Bakri).

The simmering tension between the two — who are often stuck in a car, more often than not in traffic — builds, exposing the sometimes-comic chasms that exist between men who live in different worlds but share an unshakable bond.

Since her award-winning debut, Salt of This Sea (2008), and in her TIFF-featured follow-up, When I Saw You (2012), writer-director Annemarie Jacir has explored the displacement of Palestinians. Now, for the first time, she looks at the experience of Palestinians living within Israel's borders.

With its humour rooted in observational moments — and in the Bakris' uncanny ability to convey all-too-relatable familial exasperation — Wajib is a touching tale that examines the easily blurred line between love and duty.

KIVA REARDON

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location_on Scotiabank 4

theaters Regular

location_on Scotiabank 11

theaters Regular