The Roof is a very strong and personal documentary directed by the Palestinian film maker Kamal Aljafari, who lives in Germany and returns back to his homeland to see the present life of his closest and further family. He then talks with them about the past and leaves a question mark for the future.
The film maker shares everyday life with his parents and sisters in Ramle where he was born and where his father’s family comes from. Later on he visits his uncle and the family in Jaffa where his mother’s family is from. We learn the family history together with the history of the Palestinians from Jaffa from the grandmother’s memories about 1948. The film’s beginning and its end are framed by dialogues with another Palestinian friend with an Israeli passport - a young lady working in Jerusalem who wants to become a judge. First the two of them talk about the imprisonment of the teenage film maker and his memories of the period, later on they drive and walk along the growing Separation Wall in Jerusalem.
The leitmotif joining all the scenes is the concept of home and its strong emotional values that we all carry with us. Homes, walls and roofs mingle with peoples and their destinies, the identity questions hover above them. Diego Martinez Vignatti’s camarawork as well as the film’s beautiful sound track both emphasise and strengthen the pace and the content of this wonderful small documentary masterpiece. (LC)

Original title
Alsateh
Filmmaker
Country
Palestine
Year
2006
Medium
Betacam Digi PAL
Length
63’
Language
Arabic
Producer
Kamal Aljafari
Production Company
Tag/Traum
Sales
Tag/Traum
Cinematography
Diego Martinez Vignatti
Editor
Kamal Aljafari
Sound Design
Gilles Laurent, Antoine Brochu
Music
Asmahan, Megri, Souad Massi, The El Avram Group