Tel Aviv on Fire

Tel Aviv on Fire

November 01 - 03, 2019

This event occurred as part of the 19/20 Hop Film season. This is an archived view.

In this irreverent satire, a middle-aged Palestinian slacker and a blackmailing Israeli border guard clash over the plot points of a popular Palestinian soap opera.


Salam lands a low-level position on his uncle's hit Palestinian soap opera, Tel Aviv on Fire, about a Palestinian woman who goes undercover to seduce and spy on an Israeli general, whom she may actually be falling for. Will she choose her country or the man she loves? 

Deciding the answer to this question should be way above Salam's pay grade, but he is forced to provide more creative input on the script after he runs afoul of Assi, the Israeli security chief at the checkpoint he passes each day. When Assi learns Salam is involved with his wife's favorite show, he pressures Salam to make story changes both to impress his sweetheart and to paint the Israeli characters in a more flattering light—with surprising consequences. This comic angle on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict offers new insight into the obstacles and opportunities to compromise, and the role art might play in both. D: Sameh Zoabi, France/Israel/Belgium, subtitled, 2018

Discussion follows with Prof. Bernard Avishai and Prof. Ezzedine Fishere

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Genial mirth and the nightmarish gloom of the Middle East do not sound like natural companions, but the droll and delightful Tel Aviv on Fire has made the impossible possible.

Los Angeles Times
If Beale Street Could Talk

This series highlights films that use the medium to broaden and deepen perspective on issues like poverty, racism, immigration, gender inequality and climate change. We know film is an extremely...

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