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Divine Intervention

Tuesday, July 7, 2015, 8 p.m., Dryden Theatre

Carefully intertwined stories featuring a variegated lot of characters in the town of Ramallah, Elia Suleiman’s deadpan, earnest take on the everyday lives of Palestinians is as compelling as it is caustically humorous. Focusing on the story of a man and woman separated by political boundaries—she lives in Jerusalem, just ten miles south—Divine Intervention is sectioned off by their bittersweet meetings at a military checkpoint. Occupying the other portions of the film are a lonely soccer player, a Santa Claus on the run, quarreling neighbors, a prisoner giving directions from a police van, and the inflated head of Yasser Arafat floating over the city. At times surreal, touching, and just plain outrageous, Suleiman’s comic masterpiece wonderfully illuminates the humor of the trivial, and the tragic surprises that affect everyone living in a nation wracked by political turmoil. Members admitted free.