Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala


Wajib, a Palestinian drama film directed by Annemarie Jacir grabbed the Golden Crow Pheasant (Suvarna Chakoram) for the Best Film in the 22nd International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK). Taken in the style of a road movie, the film discusses the socio-political conditions of Israel through the conversations and actions of the father, Abu Shadi and son, Shadi. In the movie, the two are seen travelling from one location to the other delivering invitations for the wedding of Shadi’s sister, Amal. 

Set in contemporary Nazareth, the movie touches the concepts of discrimination, relationships, culture and tradition with a tinge of humour. Mohammad Bakri plays the role of Abu Shadi, Saleh Bakri as Shadi and Maria Zreik as Amal. 

The title “Wajib” means ‘duty’.  A disquisition between the two on what it means to be a Palestinian overseas versus a Palestinian at home is the thread of the tale. Shadi is living in Italy with his girlfriend while the father, a school teacher has spent all his life in Nazareth. Having extremely different characters and ideologies, the two enter into conflict. 

Shadi shares a definite political view which he thinks his father lacks. This political difference become more clear between the two as they chat while travelling.  Shadi is not ready to accept the very idea of inviting the Israel man who was responsible for creating trouble in his life.  But the father feels frustrated because of the attitude of his son. The two stand obstinately in their own viewpoints. The son adamantly believes that Israel will never give a position to hold for a Palestinian and he is so much annoyed with his father’s resistance to accept his dogma.  

The film focuses on the very reality of the life in Nazareth.  Realism with a touch of poetic quality about the life of Palestinians and their identity crisis, struggles and the resistance, under the rule of Israel is what the film pictures. Crafted with brilliance, the director, through plausible dialogues, refined characterisation, strong script and perfect setting and shades has made the movie an exceptionally outstanding experience.

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