Daily archives:January 4, 2018

  • Maysaloun Hamoud’s debut feature In Between is not only entertaining and engrossing, but a cinematic rarity. The film is partially set in Tel Aviv’s Palestinian underground club scene, a hip mini-society that isn’t generally represented on film (or anywhere). Hamoud’s three main characters are young Arab-Israeli women, seemingly very different from one another on the surface, but each facing major challenges in a rigidly patriarchal society and, to a lesser degree—at least in this movie—as an unwelcome minority. The multi-layered narrative is buoyed by the charismatic performances of its stars: Mouna Hawa as droll lawyer/party girl Leila, Sana Jammelieh as soulful DJ Salma, and Shaden Kanboura as strictly observant Muslim college student Nour. Though Hamoud’s direction has a casual, verité-like vibe, the unfolding plights of each woman, especially Nour, add growing tension to the film. There are also flashes of levity in the drily humorous dialogue, especially on the part of the free-wheeling Leila.Leila and Salma, roommates in the bustling Yemenite Quarter of the city, are denizens of a hard-partying club scene featuring pounding Palestinian hip hop and a variety of drugs. A successful lawyer by day, Leila lets loose at night with a cadre of male friends, while aspiring DJ Salma humors her strict Christian parents by attending arranged dinners they’ve planned in hopes of marrying her off. A lesbian, she clearly has no intention of acquiescing to their wishes. One[...]