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Possibles Média | It Must be Heaven - Présentation

It Must be Heaven


ES escapes from Palestine seeking an alternative homeland, only to find that Palestine is trailing behind him. The promise of a new life turns into a comedy of errors: however far he travels, from Paris to New York, something always reminds him of home.

From award-winning director Elia Suleiman, a comic saga exploring identity, nationality and belonging, in which ES asks the fundamental question: where is the place we can truly call home?


- Special Mention and FIPRESCI Award, In competition, Festival de Cannes 2019
- Toronto International Film Festival 2019
- Palm Springs International Film Festival 2020

Director's note

If my previous films tried to present Palestine as a microcosm of the world; my new film It Must Be Heaven tries to show the world as if it were a microcosm of Palestine.

It Must Be Heaven shows ordinary everyday situations of people across the world living in a climate of geopolitical global tension. And the violence erupting in one place is similar to the violence erupting in another. Images and sounds containing this violence or tension are being felt in all the world centers and not, as in the past, just somewhere in the far corners of the world. There are checkpoints in each country at airports and in shopping malls. Police sirens and security alarms are no longer intermittent but constant.

Rather than focus on the 'larger' picture constantly bombarded by the mass media, always generalized, masked and falsified, It Must Be Heaven depicts the moment in the margin, the trivial, or that which is usually out of focus. Consequently, it approaches what is intimate, tender and touching. It's the personal and human stories that are based on identification which raise questions and raise hope.

As in my previous films, there is little dialogue; what is spoken is more like monologue to infuse rhythm and musicality. Otherwise the narrative of the film is knitted from a subliminal montage; scenes that are composed from choreographic movements; burlesque drawn from the world of the absurd; images that open up to the poetry of silence, which is at the heart of cinematic language.

Cannes poster

Affiche cannoise IMBH


France / Germany / Canada / Turkey | Fiction | Color | 97 min | 2019

English, French, Arabic with French and English subtitles

Directed and Original Screenplay: Elia Suleiman
Producers: Édouard Weil, Laurine Pelassy (Rectangle Productions), Thanassis Karathanos, Martin Hampel (Pallas Film), Serge Noël (Possibles Media), Zeynep Atakan (ZeynoFilm)
Director of Photography: Sofian El Fani
Editor: Véronique Lange
With: Elia Suleiman Canandian Distributor : Maison 4:3
International Sales : Wild Bunch

Video on demand (VOD)

Filmmaker biography

Born in Nazareth on July 28, 1960, Elia Suleiman lived in New York between 1981 and 1993. During this period, he directed his two first short films, Introduction to the End of an Argument and Homage by Assassination, which won him numerous prizes. In 1994, he moved to Jerusalem where the European Commission charged him with establishing a Cinema and Media department at Birzeit University. His feature debut, Chronicle of a Disappearance, won the Best First Film award at the 1996 Venice Film Festival. In 2002, Divine Intervention won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and the Best Foreign Film prize at the European Awards in Rome. His feature, The Time That Remains, screened In Competition at the 2009 Cannes film Festival. In 2012, Elia Suleiman directed the short film Diary of a Beginner, part of the portmanteau feature 7 Days in Havana, which screened that year in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival.