‘It Must Be Heaven’ Review: Elia Suleiman’s Palestinian Satire Explains Why He Doesn’t Make More Movies

‘It Must Be Heaven’ Review: Elia Suleiman’s Palestinian Satire Explains Why He Doesn’t Make More Movies
Elia Suleiman is in every scene of “It Must Be Heaven,” but he only speaks four words. The writer-director-star finds himself in a New York taxi cab in the midst of a globe-trotting journey after fleeing his drab routine back home. Asked where he comes from, he replies, “Nazareth,” then clarifies: “I am Palestinian.” And that’s pretty much all you need to know. For the rest of the movie, Suleiman’s deadpan stare says it all, as the slapstick auteur’s latest installment in his ongoing chronicle of Palestinian identity settles into his usual playful routine. Once again, the Chaplinesque Suleiman drifts through an ambivalent world, and his solemn expression does the bulk of the talking.

Suleiman’s always a reliable charmer, with a penchant for funneling the language of Jacques Tati and Buster Keaton into moving-image editorials about his troubled homeland. However, a decade has passed since his
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