RAMALLAH, Tuesday, September 20, 2022 (WAFA) – A committee representing the Palestinian cinematic sector workers today nominated the Palestinian film ‘Mediterranean Fever’ for the Oscar race.
The committee, mandated by the Ministry of Culture, selected the ‘Mediterranean Fever’ as the country’s official entry for the 95th edition of the Oscar, noting that the award ceremony is scheduled on 12th of March 2023 in Los Angeles.
Palestine has submitted 15 films for the Best Foreign Language Film since 2003.
In an interview with the Variety new website, Palestinian director Maha Haj reveals that Mediterranean Fever tackles the dynamics of male friendship and the strain of living under occupation. The subtly tender film follows family man Waleed, whose chronic depression hinders his dreams of a writing career and leads him into the path of neighbor and petty criminal Jalal, where tragedy awaits. “Mediterranean Fever” is a co-production between Palestine, Germany, France, Cyprus and Qatar, with sales handled by Luxbox.
She said that the idea came to her five years ago, while pointing that “it is partly about the frustration that we Palestinians live with daily, whether we’re in Gaza, the West Bank, inside the state of Israel or exiled. It’s the sense of being imprisoned and not knowing when you’re going to be free, if you’re going to be free.”
Commenting on the film’s setting, the city of Haifa, Haj explains that she is not representing Haifa as a site of coexistence between Jews and Arabs (Palestinians), but as “the historic Haifa that was occupied in 1948, when so many neighborhoods were left neglected, like ghost towns, and the people who lived there were forced to leave. This is the Haifa that I wanted to show, in a way.”