Zindeeq | Chicago Reader


The title of this disjointed existential drama (2009) roughly translates as "nonbeliever." Mohammad Bakri, so strong in Laila’s Birthday and Private, is subdued and remote here as a Palestinian filmmaker who now lives in Europe but returns to the West Bank for a project about the 1948 expulsion of Arabs from Israel. Nominally Christian (though disdainful of religion), he drives to Nazareth for his uncle's funeral mass and is soon pulled into a blood feud after his nephew kills a man. Director Michel Khleifi (Wedding in Galilee) seems to have watched too much Antonioni and neglects narrative coherence to focus on themes of alienation and meaninglessness. Surreal touches abound: at the end the filmmaker's former lover (Mirna Awad) appears inexplicably veiled in white and walking on water. In Arabic, Hebrew, and French with subtitles. 85 min.



  • Michel Khleifi

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