Bar Bahar

Maysaloun Hamoud
on vod
release date: Sun 1 Jan 17
  • Caution with children up to 16 years of age

The young director Maysaloun Hamoud made 'Bar Bahar' an energetic, well-acted debut about free-spirited women who dare to stand up for themselves in a country steeped in tradition.

Three Israeli-Palestinian women share an apartment in Tel Aviv. Laila is a young, progressive lawyer. She has a troubled relationship with Ziad, a filmmaker. Although outwardly progressive, Ziad wants to better define their relationship and sometimes makes spiteful remarks about Laila's attire. Then there is the lesbian Salma, DJ in a bar. She falls in love with Dunya, but will she dare out to her conservative Christian parents? Finally, there is Nour, who is the last to live in the flat. She is from a village and is studying in Tel Aviv. As the only one wearing a veil, she is somewhat out of place. Wissam, her fiancé, comes to check on her now and then: she'd better give up her studies; later she has to take care of the children. The three women balance between tradition and modernism, good citizenship and deviant behavior, freedom and loyalty. 

Maysaloun Hamoud
96 min
release date
Sun 1 Jan 17
Israel, France
Arabic, Hebrew
  • Caution with children up to 16 years of age

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What makes this spiky dramedy so compelling are the Palestinian-Israeli protagonists, whose split lives have rarely been depicted on screen. With many hooks for promotion, this engrossing tale should have a strong festival career; niche art-house life is possible in some territories.