A comedy about the Arab-Israeli conflict? There are few filmmakers willing to take on such a risky project, but in Tel Aviv on Fire Sameh Zoabi proves it is still possible to find something to laugh about. Starting from a made-up romantic series about a female spy who marries an Arab man in 1967, but also has to engage with a member of the Israeli military. As the viewers don’t yet know who the woman will finally choose, the programme becomes hugely popular on both sides of the wall.

Salem works as a production assistant on the set and therefore has to pass a very strict border official every day. When he demands that the Israeli soldier be given a more positive role, Salem feverishly tries to influence the narrative of the TV series, as it becomes increasingly clear how futile this is. In this way, Zoabi is able to tackle a painful truth, zooming in on this decades-long conflict with the light touch of a compelling soap opera.

Filmmaker
Sameh Zoabi
Country
Israel, France, Luxembourg, Belgium
Year
2018
Medium
DCP
Length
97’
Language
Arabic, Hebrew
Producer
Patrick Quinet, Miléna Poylo, Gilles Sacuto, Bernard Michaux, Amir Harel
Production Company
Artémis Productions, TS Productions, Lama Films, Samsa Film
Sales
Indie Sales
Writer
Sameh Zoabi, Dan Kleinman
Cinematography
Laurent Brunet
Editor
Catherine Schwartz
Production Design
Christina Schaffer
Sound Design
Alain Sironval
Music
André Dziezuk
Cast
Kais Nashef , Lubna Azabal, Yaniv Biton, Nadim Sawalha, Maisa Abd Elhadi, Salim Daw, Yousef Sweid
Website
http://www.artemisproductions.com/fr/films/Tel_Aviv_On_Fire