Directed by Rashid Masharawi. With Mohammed Bakri, Areen Omari, Nour Zoubi.
Laila's Birthday portrays a day in the life of a Palestine taxi driver, "Abu Laila". The twist here is that Laila previously served as a judge under Arafat but has been unable to get reinstated due to the multiple changes in government. His day starts simply enough with a request from his wife to be home by 8pm to celebrate their daughter Laila's birthday. And, he does indeed make it home on time. But his journey presents numerous hurdles that nearly derail his objective. Those obstacles include a car bombing, the kidnapping of his taxi, and an unusual assortment of passengers who test his patience.
Film director Rashid Masharawi lives and works in Ramallah, where he founded the Cinema Production and Distribution Center in 1996 with the aim of promoting local film productions. He also sponsors a mobile cinema, which allows him to screen films in Palestinian refugee camps. Other projects include the annual Kids Film Festival and major workshops on film production and directing. Rashid Masharawi regularly organises readings and discussion forums at the Al-Matal cultural centre.
(By KenG - 2/10/11) I was just a young teen in Hebrew school when the 6-Day-War erupted on June 5, 1967 in the Middle East. I was relatively unaware of the political issues, but I do recall that a classmate questioned our teacher about Israel's perspective and wondered if there wasn't some merit to the Palestinian position. In short order, the young man was directed to the principal's office and his parents were called in to review the matter with our rabbi. Seriously...(read more)
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