Laila’s Birthday: Rashid Masharawi’s Palestinian Drama

Rashid Masharawi is the writer/director of the Palestinian drama “Laila’s Birthday,” which was released in May by Kino International.

With Laila’s Birthday, I tried to describe the confusion that shapes Palestinian life at this moment. After more than half a century of Israeli occupation, resisting for freedom, negotiating for peace, and hoping for progress, we only moved backwards. And the result is more frustration, carelessness and an overall inability to deal with the small details of our precious lives.

Throughout the film, I tried to create a sense of hope by shedding a little light on positive and promising elements that hint to a better future. I also would like to give the audience the opportunity to touch this very unique period in our lives, where the Palestinians are divided both ideologically and geographically by the burden of the occupation.

Because the film is a combination of reality and imagination, I decided to take from absurdity and toughness from reality, and pleasure and beauty from imagination – a beauty that still is one of the strongest qualities of our country.