Palestine | 2017 | 96 minutes | Annemarie Jacir

Palestinian architect Shadi, living in Rome, returns home to help his father deliver his sister's wedding invitations in accordance with tradition. As they bridge the gap between their radically different lives, the two men rediscover the importance of duty and community.

"Naturalistic, nicely paced and well played by the lead actors, Wajib succeeds at making us invest in its fragile father/son relationship and willing them to acknowledge that there is more that unites them than threatens to drive them apart." Allan Hunter - ScreenDaily

Annemarie Jacir (When I Saw You) returns to SIFF with the story of an estranged father and son (played by real-life father and son Mohammad and Saleh Bakri) who come together to carry out their duty. Abu Shadi is a divorced father and a schoolteacher in his mid-sixties living in Nazareth. Shadi, his son, is an architect living in Rome. When a family wedding looms, Shadi returns home to help his father hand-deliver invitations, as tradition requires. As they drive around visiting relatives and friends, the cranky father and his grudging son try to share the details of their very different lives, and navigate the longstanding tension that exists between them, to sometimes comic effect. (The traffic doesn't help.) In her two previous films, Jacir explored the displacement of Palestinians. Now, for the first time, she considers the experience of those living with Israel's borders—as well as the complexity of the relationship between the two groups. (Indeed, one subplot involves Abu Shadi's ex-wife, now living in the U.S., and whether or not she'll be able to attend her daughter's wedding.) WAJIB is a tribute to the power of family and community ties between those who inhabit different worlds but share an unshakable bond.

Director Biography
Annemarie Jacir is a Palestinian filmmaker and screenwriter born in Bethlehem, Palestine. Her film When I Saw You (2012) won the NETPAC Critics Award for Best Asian Film at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival and was selected for the Palestinian entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Academy Awards®. In addition to filmmaking, Jacir is also a poet, having published her stories and poetry in various literary journals such as Mizna; the Crab Orchard Review; and The Poetry of Arab Women: A Contemporary Anthology. She is also chief curator for Dreams of a Nation Palestinian cinema project which is dedicated to promoting Palestinian cinema to the world. She teaches courses at Columbia University, Bethlehem University, and Birzeit University, traveling between Palestinian refugee camps and Lebanon.

Sponsored by KING 5

  • Original Language Title: Wajib
  • Director: Annemarie Jacir
  • Principal Cast: Mohammad Bakri, Saleh Bakri, Karma Zoabi, Rana Alamuddin, Maria Zriek, Leila Bakri
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: Palestine, France, Germany, Colombia, Norway, Qatar, United Arab Emirates
  • Year: 2017
  • Running Time: 96 minutes
  • Producer: Ossama Bawardi
  • Screenplay: Annemarie Jacir
  • Cinematographers: Antoine Heberle
  • Editors: Jacques Comets
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Official Oscar® Submission 2018 (Foreign Language Film) Dubai International Film Festival 2017 (Best Film, Actor)
  • Filmography: The Rendezvous (2016); When I Saw You (2012); Salt of This Sea (2008)
  • Language: Arabic
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Pyramide International