Idol, The (2015): Abu-Assad Fable, Set in Arab World

Inspired by a true story, The Idol is the most upbeat and optimistic film to date of Oscar winner Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now), one of few alestinian director to have a sustained directing career, showing his work in various film festivals.

World-remiering at the 2015 Toronto Film Fest, The Idol will be released theatrically by Adopt Film in early May.

For most people, Gaza signifies conflict and war with Israel, destruction and despair but to Mohammed Assaf, and his sister Nour, Gaza is their home and their playground. It’s where they, along with their best friends Ahmad and Omar, play music, football and dare to dream big. Their band might play on second hand, beaten up instruments but they are unfazed and continue to hold high ambitions.

Mohammed and Nour aspire to playing the world famous Cairo Opera Hall, even though they realize it might take them a lifetime to get there.  The couple embrace the notion that dreams are worth living for.

Along the way, Mohammed experiences tragedy and loss, and the world around him will shatter. Through it all, however, he retains the hope that his voice will deliver him from the pain that surrounds him and bring joy to others. He sings at weddings, he drives a taxi to pay for his university studies. Even as the siege around Gaza intensifies, and the prison around them more forbidding, Mohammed knows he has the rare gift to make people smile and forget their troubles.

One evening, he watches on TV the auditions for Arab Idol in Cairo, the most popular show in the Arab world. Though the borders are closed, and there is no way out, he finds a way and makes it in front of the judges in Egypt.

Destiny awaits as there’s chance to change his life and give a voiceless people the freedom to love, live and feel free.