Wajib(Annemarie Jacir,2017):Palestine, France, Germany, Colombia, Norway, Qatar, United Arab Emirates

Reviewed by Rujie Wang. Viewed at AFI Fest 2017.

“Wajib” is a Palestinian comedy­drama directed by Annemarie Jacir. Released in August 2017, the movie has been rated high above average and has hence received a wide viewership. Starred by Saleh Bakri and his father Mohammed Bakri, the movie depicts two Palestinians in two different worlds, abroad and at home. The movie is well written with well­played scenes. The idealistic son has to come home to help his dad in distributing wedding invitations to his sister. As a norm, dad and his son should distribute these wedding letters. This comes to portray the movie name Wajib, which means duty. Abu Shadi (Mohammed Bakri) is a mid­60s divorced teacher living in Nazareth. He stays with his daughter, Amal, who will be married in a month’s time. Amal’s brother, Shadi, who has been in Italy for a while has to come home for the preparation of the wedding. According to Abu Shadi, both the son and the father should distribute the wedding invitations. He holds that the norms of the community should be followed to maintain cohesion and the traditions. His son Shadi sees all this as meaningless and is angry at his dad. However, to earn the respect of dad, he accepts the wajib and goes with him during this process. The whole movie is built on their encounters during these preparations with the estranged father and son spending most of the time at traffic jams. Some notable instances are when Abu Shadi wants to invite another Israeli who works as a government spy. Shadi objects this bitterly, and this shows how political he is. Jacir develops this movie to bring up the Palestinians living peacefully and happily with the Israeli. Most of the movies in these regions are based on wars and the fights alone, leaving behind another peaceful side, which Jacir perfectly lets the world know of its existence. The movie develops most of the scenes on roads, depicting the uncollected garbage and the structures of Nazareth. It depicts exactly how life is for Palestinians at home. The radio news that play in the background gives the viewer more information on the movie set up and life of the characters.
With less computer generated images, the movie is realistic and depicts the true life of the Palestinians living with the Israeli. Wajib becomes one of the inspirational movies worth emulation, especially since the Israelis live happily and cohesively together with the Palestinians. With real­life situations, the movie captivates every viewer, and you would not want not to miss a scene.


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