(Milh hadha al-bahr )

Annemarie Jacir
Palestine 2008 | 109 Min. | DigiBeta, OmeU

Born and raised in Brook­lyn, 28-year-old Soraya decides to travel for the first time to the land her rel­a­tives were forced to leave behind in 1948: Pales­tine. She is bloom­ing with con­fi­dence upon her arrival, but the local Pales­tin­ian real­i­ty grad­u­al­ly begins to catch up with her. Her attempt to recov­er her grand­par­ents’ frozen assets in Ramal­lah is reject­ed by the bank author­i­ties. She then cross­es paths with Emad, a young Pales­tin­ian. Unlike Soraya, who dreams of set­tling down in Pales­tine, Emad, who has only known life under occu­pa­tion, wants noth­ing more than to leave. They both find the cur­rent con­di­tions unac­cept­able. Togeth­er Soraya and Emad spon­ta­neous­ly set out on a jour­ney to unfa­mil­iar parts of Pales­tine and Israel. 

Annemarie Jacir has already attract­ed crit­i­cal atten­tion thanks to her short films. In SALT OF THIS SEA, her first fea­ture-length film, she invites us on a wild ride through a region essen­tial­ly barred to her pro­tag­o­nists, where free­dom appears to be a for­eign con­cept. Her road movie pro­vides a rare look at the Pales­tin­ian land­scape, and gives us an oppor­tu­ni­ty to explore the his­to­ry of Jacir’s home­land. The film is atmos­pher­i­cal­ly rich and touch­ing. Where the world cannot seem to find the right words, Annemarie Jacir sup­plies pro­found images that express humanity’s deep long­ing for free­dom. (trigon film)