The film was top in the Official Competition category. The comedy, which explores the director’s search for the spirit of Palestine, screened late in the festival but still topped the critics list. (Read The Hollywood Reporter‘s review here.)
“In a subtle, stylistically strong and humorous way, this film tells a story that goes beyond politics, religions, authorities and cultural differences. Even though those differences are observed with a sharp eye for the absurd that slides through hypocrisy and are delivered with great cinematic and often surprising choreographies,” said the group.
This year’s jury was presided over by Paulo Portugal, a critic from Portugal’s Correio de Manha, Premiere and GQ. The jury was rounded out with eight critics from around the world, including the U.S., France, Israel and Bangladesh.
The critics gave it the nod “For its highly aesthetic use of the medium of cinema and its unique story of post-war trauma.”
In parallel sections, Robert Eggers’ Directors’ Fortnight entry The Lighthouse, starring Robert Pattinson, took the prize. “Two lead actors give stormy, career best performances. A celebration of language, both cinematically and linguistically — an old Irish poem of desire & greed. A brutal work of art, all shot in beautiful black and white cinematography and fueled by a soundscape that echoes like a foghorn,” the critics said.