This heart-warming feature by Abu-Assad (Oscar-nominated for Paradise Now and Omar) tells the true story of Palestinian singer Mohammad Assaf, whose winning of Arab Idol in 2013 gave his homeland a rare taste of victory. With a heroic role for his feisty sister, who guides him through his childhood years. With Critics' Talk in Lantaren Venster Foyer on Fri 29 Jan.
Biopic of Palestinian singer Mohammad Assaf, whose winning of the pan-Arab version of TV talent show Pop Idol in 2013 led to a moment of national pride and unity in Palestine, which finally had something to celebrate on the international stage.
Palestinian-Dutch director Hany Abu-Assad (who received Oscar nominations for Paradise Now, 2005, and Omar, 2013) shows the tough circumstances in which Assaf, first as a little boy in Gaza, and later in his twenties, grows up to be a singer. The Israeli occupation continuously plays a role in the background, such as when Assaf and his friends - as well as his feisty sister who suffers from kidney failure - cycle along the separation barrier. From the wedding parties at which he makes his singing debut as a boy to the enormous pressure he feels during the final of Arab Idol, with all of Palestine glued to the tube, Assaf always embodies his country, yearning for freedom.