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It Must Be Heaven – Elia Suleiman

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #61. It Must Be Heaven – Elia Suleiman

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #61. It Must Be Heaven – Elia Suleiman

It Must Be Heaven

Palestinian director Elia Suleiman breaks a ten year hiatus from narrative features with his latest project, It Must Be Heaven, his fourth feature. In tradition with past films, Suleiman himself is the narrator and lead character, joined by Holden Wong, Sebastian Beaulac, Robert Higden, Alain Dahan and others, all playing characters known by occupation only. With Cesar winner (2014’s Timbuktu) Sofian El Fani behind the camera, the French-German-Turkish-Canadian co-production is produced by Edouard Weil and Laurine Pelassy (Rectangle Productions), Elia Suleiman through Nazira Films, Thanassis Karathanos and Martin Hampel (Pallas Film), Serge Noël (Possibles Media), Zeynep Atakan (ZeynoFilm). Suleiman won Best First Feature out of Venice in 1996 for Chronicle of a Disappearance, then took home the Jury and FIPRESCI Prizes out of Cannes in 2002 for Divine Intervention, returning to the competition in 2009 with The Time That Remains. Suleiman was part of the 2012 omnibus 7 Days in Havana, which premiered at Cannes in Un Certain Regard.

Gist: Filmed in Nazareth, Paris, and Montreal, Suleiman’s latest examines identity, nationality, and belonging within the concept of what we’re led to call ‘home’ as he travels the world as escape from identity only to be constantly reminded of where he’s from.

Release Date/Prediction: Suleiman completed the last leg of It Must Be Heaven in early November in Montreal. A third stint in the Cannes competition seems imminent.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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