Tel Aviv on Fire (2019): Palestinian Sameh Zoabi’s Satire

Sameh Zoabi directed and co-wrote (with Dan Kleinman) Tel Aviv on Fire, a light satire with political overtones.

The film premiered at the 75th Venice Film Fest in the Orizzonti section, where Kais Nashef won the Best Actor award.

At the Haifa Film Fest, the film won the Best Film and Best Screenplay awards.

It was selected as Luxembourg’s entry for the Best International Film Oscar.

Salem (Kais Nashef), a Palestinian from East Jerusalem, is a production assistant on the soap opera “Tel Aviv on Fire,” which shoots in Ramallah.

After a lie he tells Asi (Yaniv Biton), an officer at the checkpoint, which he must pass daily to get to work, Salem is suddenly promoted to be a screenwriter on the show. There is only one problem: Salem can’t write scripts.

To avoid getting fired, Salem makes a deal with Asi, who helps him write in exchange for fine Palestinian hummus, and a promise that the series’ plot will end with a wedding.

However, the Palestinian investors want a different ending, and Salem finds himself in a bind, when he tries to please parties that are essentially in opposite positions.