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  • Divine Intervention

    Divine Intervention

    Scoring smarter, deeper political points were Amos Gitaï's Kedma, a drama about the founding of Israel, and Elia Suleiman's Divine Intervention, the first Palestinian film selected for competition. A patchwork of vignettes about the wretched absurdity of Palestinian life, the film is likable if thin, and undermined by a hot Ramallah babe who kicks Israeli butt with some ninja hijinks. That Suleiman's film was an early festival favorite was, as it turns out, one of the few things about which many of the critics could readily agree.

    from Un Certain Disregard, LA Weekly, May 29, 2002

  • Kedma

    Kedma

    Scoring smarter, deeper political points were Amos Gitaï's Kedma, a drama about the founding of Israel, and Elia Suleiman's Divine Intervention, the first Palestinian film selected for competition. A patchwork of vignettes about the wretched absurdity of Palestinian life, the film is likable if thin, and undermined by a hot Ramallah babe who kicks Israeli butt with some ninja hijinks. That Suleiman's film was an early festival favorite was, as it turns out, one of the few things about which many of the critics could readily agree.

    from Un Certain Disregard, LA Weekly, May 29, 2002

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  • Public Housing

    Public Housing

    Early in the second 100 minutes of Frederick Wiseman's Public Housing, there's a strangely poetic interlude - scene isn't quite the word - in which an elderly black woman silently cuts some cabbage with a knife that seems too large, too full of threat, for her slow, bony fingers. The woman is a resident of the Ida B. Wells housing complex in Chicago, where Wiseman's documentary takes place, and it takes her a long time to trim the cabbage leaves…

  • The Center of the World

    The Center of the World

    True story: A famous writer I know shops a screenplay that features several female characters. As it turns out, “several” is a few too many for the liking of his male producer, who asks the writer to collapse them into one catchall woman. And, asks the producer, while the writer is at it, could he turn this new female character into a whore? I tell this story to a few filmmakers, none of whom is remotely appalled or surprised. “It’s…