Elia Suleiman: The Time That Remains

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Elia Suleiman: The Time That Remains

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Elia Suleiman, إيليا سليمان is a Palestinian actor and filmmaker who has extensive experience in both directing and screenwriting. He was born on July 28, 1960 in Nazareth, Palestine. Elia Suleiman is most well-known for his 2002 film, Divine Intervention, a surreal comedy and modern tragedy about the Israeli occupation of Palestine, with a specific look at daily life. Divine Intervention won several awards, including the International Critics Prize (FIPRESCI), the Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize (2002), and the Best Foreign Film Prize at the European Awards in Rome. Often compared with filmmakers Jacques Tati and Buster Keaten, Elia Suleiman deals with both burlesque and seriousness with a similar poetic sense. Speaking theoretically about his work, he links it to the project of democracy: Multiplying the possibilities of reading my images gives me pleasure. As much as possible, I try to layer them. It’s a democratization of the image. Just as we have never arrived at a better political system than what we call democracy today, my images carry exactly the same risk as democracy. I’m taking the risk that some of them can be misread, but I can’t impose my own views.

Elia Suleiman lived in New York City for a decade (1982–93) before moving back to Palestine to teach Film and Media at Birzeit University near Ramallah, in the West Bank. It was during his time in the United States that he co-directed the short film Introduction to the End of an Argument (1990), and he directed Homage by Assassination (1992). Birzeit University is one of the foremost educational institutes in the Palestinian territory and has played a significant role in the Palestinian political scene. In his position as professor at Birzeit University, Elia Suleiman developed a new Department of Film and Media, which was funded by the European Commission. He has also been a guest lecturer at the European Graduate School (EGS) and other universities around the world. Elia Suleiman is a Professor of Film at the European Graduate School.

Elia Suleiman interview on “The Time That Remains”.

The Time That Remains

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