Mai Masri’s fiction debut about a young Palestinian mother in detention is a poetic, compelling and raw allegory for freedom under occupation.
Director Mai Masri
Producers Mai Masri, Sabine Sidawi, Charlotte Uzu
Screenwriter Mai Masri
With Maisa Abd Elhadi, Nadera Omran, Raida Adon, Karim Saleh
Palestine-France-Jordan-Lebanon-United Arab Emirates-Qatar 2015
Accused of helping a young man on the run, schoolteacher Layal finds herself incarcerated in a top security Israeli detention centre for Palestinian and Israeli women. When she discovers that she’s pregnant, her husband insists that she abort the child. Terrified but defiant, she gives birth behind bars. Set in Nablus in 1980, Masri draws on realities she has both experienced first hand and explored in her documentary work – the central role women play under occupation and the devastating Sabra and Shatila massacre – to craft a powerful script that explores the complex dynamics of relationships behind bars. Paranoia prevails and conflicts arise, but there are moments of unexpected solidarity in the intimacy of confinement. With a compelling central performance by Maisa Abd Elhadi (Dégradé), Masri’s fiction debut is a poetic and raw allegory of freedom under occupation.