Film Series : Chicago Palestine Film Festival 2017

The Idol

Arab Idol / Ya tayr el tayer

2015, Hany Abu Assad, UK/Palestine/Qatar, 100 min. With Qais Atallah, Hiba Atallah, Tawfeek Barhom.

Show Times

  • Wed, Apr 19th 8:30pm

“This is crowd-pleasing cinema akin to Danny Boyle’s SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.” — Ben Nicholson, CineVue

“Thoroughly captivating…charming, rambunctious.” — Justin Chang, Variety

Four mischievous kids in a Gaza refugee camp master the ways of the streets to score musical instruments and start a ragtag wedding band. Surmounting poverty, family tragedy, and the occupation, the band’s precociously talented vocalist Mohammed Assaf (Barhom) grows up to wangle by hook and by crook, a coveted spot on TV’s "Arab Idol," the first Palestinian ever to compete. The hopes of an entire people hang thrillingly on the outcome. It’s a true story, and one recreated by director Abu Assad (OMAR, PARADISE NOW) as a rousing tension-filled cliffhanger with an irresistibly jubilant finale. In Arabic with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)

Preceded by GRAFFITI (2016, Fidaa Nasr, Palestine, 16 min.). Words of love written on a wall stand as a bitter contrast to the fate of a young Jerusalem man and woman. In Arabic with English subtitles.

Wednesday, April 19 at 8:30 PM: Fidaa Nasir, director of short film GRAFFITI, is scheduled to appear via Skype.

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