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(aka "Divine Intervention" or "Yadon ilaheyya" or "Chronicle of Love and Pain " or "D.I. " or "Intervention divine" )


directed by Elia Suleiman
France/Morocco/Germany/Palestine 2002


"Divine Intervention" is a mordant and bleak comedy, almost without dialogue, about Palestinians under Israeli occupation. Its characters live their daily lives in ways that are fundamentally defined by the divisions between them, and the scene with the most tension simply involves two drivers, one Israeli, one Palestinian, who lock eyes at a traffic light. Neither will look away. In their paralysis, while the light turns green and motorists behind them start to honk, the film sums up the situation in a nutshell.

The movie stars Elia Suleiman, who also wrote and directed it, and who has probably included more political references than an outsider is likely to understand. Most of his ideas are conveyed in scenes that would be right at home in a silent comedy, and on the few occasions when the characters talk, they say nothing more than what could be handled in a title card.

Excerpt of review from Roger Ebert located HERE


Theatrical Release: October 2nd, 2002 (France)

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DVD Review: Artificial Eye (Spine # 239) - Region 2 - PAL

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Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:29:20

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.5 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Arabic and Hebrew (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer
• Elia Suleiman Interview (48:16)
• Director Biography and Filmography

DVD Release Date: May 26th, 2003
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Chapters 9



Elia Suleiman's Divine Intervention, another blind buy of mine from some months ago, was released theatrically in 2002 to much international acclaim. I have to admit that I wasn't the biggest fan of the film. Perhaps this is because much of the humor related to the specifics of day-to-day life in Jerusalem and the surrounding area was lost on me, but much of the non-insider and non-political humor was accessible enough. I suppose that it also didn't help that I found much of the humor unfunny. While some of it is grounded in the daily absurdities inherent within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, other scenes lose all sense of reality (see conflict between the Israeli soldiers and the super powered Palestinian assassin toward the end). The film works best when focusing on the more down to earth jokes, and lost me completely with the utterly fantastic.

The DVD edition itself is fairly good and reflects the level of care that the distributor generally puts into their releases. The disc is dual layered and sports a progressive transfer. The image, if unremarkable for standard DVD, is always competent and sports little of the dullness found in some of their earlier transfers. The sound too leaves no room for complaint and features English subtitles. While we get the standard Artificial Eye (trailer and filmographies), there is also an informative interview with Suleiman lasting nearly 50 minutes. Those who enjoyed the movie won't want to pass up this valuable extra feature.

While I've made it clear that I wasn't overly enamored with the film, I know that it has quite a following and is considered one of the most important Palestinian films of the last decade. I'm glad that Artificial Eye chose to release it, and fans of the film certainly wouldn't go wrong picking up this edition.

 - Brian Montgomery


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Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL



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