Annemarie Jacir’s Wajib at Toronto International Film Festival
BY Ijaaz Noohu , September 12, 2017
Adjunct Professor Annemarie Jacir’s Wajib has been chosen as Palestine’s official candidate for the best foreign language film Oscar. The film garnered buzz at its sold out world premiere in official competition at Locarno last month, where it won three independent prizes, the FICC/IFFS Prize, the Youth Jury Environment Prize, and the ISPEC Cinema Award.
Annemarie Jacir’s third feature, Wajib, is a wry comedy following a divorced father and his estranged son amid wedding preparations in the run up to Christmas in Nazareth. Wajib pairs renowned Palestinian actors Mohammed Bakri and Saleh Bakri together in the leads roles in a feature for the first time. Mohammad Bakri was first discovered by Costa-Gavras when he was cast in Hanna K. Saleh Bakri, who has appeared in all three films directed by Jacir, plays Rome-based Shadi, who returns to Nazareth after a period away for the wedding of his sister Amal (Maria Zreik).
Her 2003 Like Twenty Impossibles was the first short by a Palestinian director to be selected at Cannes; her feature “Salt of This Sea” (2008) was the first directed by a Palestinian woman. Salt of This Sea and When I Saw You were Palestine’s official entries at the Oscars.
The film is currently a part of the Toronto International Film Festival.