A cinematic aesthetic that captures Khan’s “look”

Palestinians Maha Al-Hajj, Ashraf Farah and consul Amar Hellhel (Patricia de Mello Morera / AFP)

After a notable first novelist, Personal Matters (2016), he appeared for the first time internationally in the 69th edition (11-22 May 2016) on the Uncertainty Record project.Cannes International Film FestivalPalestinian director Maha al-Hajj (1970) returned to the same show with his second film during the 75th session of the Cannes Film Festival (May 17-28, 2022).mediterranean fever“.
Craftsmanship and honesty in the script (Maha Al-Haj) (“Best Screenplay Award in A Look 2022), clear, concise and carefully drawn characters, plot threads that observe the smallest details and a brilliant general idea without any Palestinian political concern, direct discussion, human-psychology Not from deep philosophical dimensions, Maha al-Hajj first shaped his ideas and succeeded in entering the world of men and proposing the nature of friendship between them In a general framework of exploring the meaning of life, existence and adaptation, the elements of the male world include weakness, weakness and In addition to all this, combine his strong presence as a director , honest and versatile project owner, owner of interesting vision and unique artistic direction, in various technical aspects, without any slowness or weakness.

In “Mediterranean Fever”, al-Hajj eventually develops into a dark comedy film with surprises and plots, dynamic attitudes, dynamic psychology and character reactions, interesting threads that are difficult to predict or in any which way. There is a noticeable work in the dialogues, very relevant to each character, and which lack brilliance and humor, despite the darkness of the subject, which helps to create life and fluidity, which is reinforced by a good choice. Cast and their good management.
The events of “Mediterranean Fever” take place in Haifa, Walit (Amer Hellhell) is a middle-aged novelist who has yet to write his first novel, but he is trying for many reasons despite his apparent stumble, most of which are not. Clear. Walid feels that he carries the burden of the world on his shoulders and that he is in a big prison (Palestinian prison). For the past two years, he has suffered from severe depression, which appears to be chronic. He does not attend treatment sessions regularly and refuses to take medication prescribed by his psychiatrist due to a strong sense of ineffectiveness.

Nevertheless, he was an exemplary father in his household. He takes care of the cleanliness of the house, takes care of the cooking and takes the two children to school. Due to his hard work as a nurse in a major hospital, things that keep his wife busy. In short, he is a good and calm man, he loves his wife and their two children, and has a good relationship with his parents, and there is nothing strange, extremist or violent in his behavior. of life, except that he constantly cares about it. Tragic and depressing Palestinian news, and should encourage her two children to speak Arabic, not Hebrew.
Jalal (Ashraf Farah), the new neighbor next to him, has recently moved in across from his apartment. Not interested in the Palestinian reality. He likes to have fun and embraces indifference. Despite Walid’s reluctance and reservations, a close friendship is gradually formed between them, even though the difference in their world is obvious, Jalal, a construction worker, belongs to the world of semi-organized crime, which means that is a source of danger. Something attracts him as soon as Walid finds him, but chases him away. His excuse lies in his desire to write a novel about the world of crime and criminals, in which he has the glory of a particular advantage.

As the friendship between them grows, Jalal’s weak human nature becomes more and more apparent. From his criminal behavior and his hidden world, from his twin lives, his devotion to his new friend Walid, and he and his life and predicament are revealed. Gradually, Jalal realized that Walit’s story was constantly changing and writing the novel was an excuse for something bigger and deeper which Walid was seriously looking for. Attempts failed. However, after Jalal was under great financial pressure, soon it was necessary to arrange a large sum of money, and he was confronted after finding out that Walid was an expert in wild boar hunting and excelled in gun hunting. With his request, and insists on carrying it out, like a help from friend to friend, he wants no more life.
The title of the film, “Mediterranean Fever”, refers to a disease suffered by the youngest son of Jalal. When asked what the flu was, he replied that it was hereditary, only in the area where they lived, i.e. the Middle East. The film does not care about the son’s physical illness. Mediterranean fever is another indication of the political, social and psychological burden on Palestinians living in Haifa in general and the Middle East in general.

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