‘VILLA TOUMA’, PALESTINE (85 mins) Directed by Suha Arraf

Kind Courtesy: Suha Arraf


This is the debut feature film of a renowned Palestine scriptwriter based in Israel, Suha Arraf, who won global fame by scripting the stark and moving human dramas about the Arab-Israel conflict- Lemon Tree, Syrian Bride- which won awards, acclaim, and audiences around the world.

Villa Touma was screened at a record 100 film festivals around the world, including top ones like Venice and Toronto.

The story centers around three aristocratic, single Christian women, who lost their land during the 1967 war with Israel, and are left with only a villa. They choose to live in isolation there, refusing to accept the changes happening outside their wall. In many ways, their wall represents the wall of the West Bank.

Their home is richly endowed, with nothing out of place, and the sisters live a life of decorum and propriety, even though they each have their secret dreams, desires, desperations.

Into this surreal world, enters their orphaned niece Badia , perky, clumsy, nosey. They decide to train her to be a ‘lady’ like them, and after that, to find her a suitor, so that they can continue with their regimented lives. In order to find a suitor, they step out of their house for the first time in many years, and also stun the townsfolk by inviting them to their home.

Meanwhile Badia meets Khalil, a young Palestine singer from a refugee camp, falls in love, and even encourages him to visit her at night.

The three sisters are aghast, when they find out. They realize that they have to accept the huge change in their lives, and the story ends on a higher note of irony than when it started.

Director Suha Arraf stated that she chose to make a story of the dwindling Palestine aristocracy, as hardly anything is known about them. She also deliberately decided to “ to highlight the Palestine issue, as a human issue. We are portrayed either as heroes or victims, and we forget about the person stuck between the two!”

The highlight of the film, is the impeccable performance of the all-women cast. The three lead actresses are well-known Palestine artistes who live abroad. The Palestine director lives in Israel, and that basic duality forms the heart and soul of her memorable dramas, including this one.

We are proud to screen the film of a top woman film-maker from Palestine, a country that by the very nature of its geographical and political position, is making some of the most thought-provoking movies in the world.

What the Critics Said:

Hollywood Reporter: “It’s a welcome change to see a film about Palestine that doesn’t directly deal with the war.”

The National : “It’s the work of a director who is clearly confident in her own abilities.”

Variety: “ The production design is praiseworthy.”

FREE Snack/ Drink will be served.

We look forward to welcoming you to the screening.

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