About a Palestinian girl of 17 who wants to get married to the man of her own choosing. Rana wakes up one morning to an ultimatum delivered by her father: she must either choose a husband ... See full summary »
Since his early years in his native Gaza, Mohammed Assaf has had a golden voice. Accompanied by his sister Nour and two of his friends, he sings in courtyards first and later at weddings while Kamal helps him to develop the full range of his vocal capacities. Nour unfortunately dies of kidney failure and Mohammed grows up in sorrow and bitterness, all the more as war strikes his hometown. In 2012, he is a student and drives a taxi to finance his studies. He wants to start singing again but he can envisage singing as a career only in leaving Gaza. His only hope is to participate in the famous "Arab Idol" contest. But how to leave the place without a visa? Written by
The true story of the Palestinian who won "Arab Idol" in 2013 is considerably more moving than the back stories promoted in "The X Factor"
This is the basically true story of Palestinian Mohammad Assaf, who won "Arab Idol" in 2013 and is now a goodwill ambassador for the UN. Those who know of his success will love to re-live it. But for perhaps the majority of westerners this is an inspiring, universal story of love conquering fear. The first 90 minutes are set in Gaza, where Assaf was raised. He showed talent early on. We assume that his sick sister will recover. But we're wrong. We're led to believe that Mohammad was inspired to succeed. The story of Mohammad's struggle to enter "Arab Idol" seems incredible. But he really did get a forged visa to Egypt, where the 2013 finals were held, and he really did break into the hotel to audition because he didn't have a ticket. The rest is history. The genuine footage of Mohammad's success being celebrated by thousands of people in streets throughout the Arab world is astonishing. Few will be able to suppress a tear as Mohammad states that he entered the contest because he wanted Palestine's voice to be heard. After success in Toronto, the film played the London Film Festival, where director Hany Abu-Assad revealed that he was mostly unable to shoot in Gaza, ostensibly because he was born in Israel. But the principal children during that first 90 minutes are Palestinian and it seems they were allowed to be taken elsewhere for the shoot, possibly Jordan. Mohammed Assaf was also present at the screening and claimed to be very proud of the way in which he was represented. This record of a talent contest inspiring goodwill between nations that continues to this day puts the nonsense that sustains the likes of "The X Factor" into a very real perspective.
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