Wajib Screen 4 articles



Wajib Poster
  • The film gives an unfussily illuminating snapshot of modern-day Nazareth, where a majority Arab population — most seen here are Christian — has found ways to get along under the fiddly, capricious restrictions of the Israeli state. It's a "small" film which attempts to break no new ground either formally or content-wise, but works just fine within its chosen limitations as a solid dual showcase for Bakri pere and fils.

  • While the generational and cultural conflict operates squarely within a well-worn art film template, Jacir uses sly visual codes to allude to the broader narrative of their lives. At two points of heightened anger, we see the men drive past a giant concrete Star of David. At another point of frustration, we see a flagpole in the middle of a traffic circle, the blue-and-white Israeli flag hanging limp and illegible.

  • What does it mean to be a Palestinian abroad? What does it mean to be a Palestinian at home? Can the struggle between the two identities tell us something honest about a Palestinian society living under the Israeli occupation? Wajib, Annemarie Jacir’s third feature, confirms the director’s ability to show and discuss the complexity and contradictions of human relations through the seeming simplicity of the film’s visual and narrative structure.

  • The film’s dramatic denouement is a tour de force of a scene. . . . While the entirety of their zigzaging road trip amounts to a settling of accounts via occasional jokes and little comments, here the father and son confront each other and the ghosts that have haunted their family history. For this brief moment, Jacir’s camera, which up until this point in the film mostly stares (and refreshingly so), is allowed to somatize the characters’ sense of urgency.

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