Man Without a Cellphone (Bidoun Mobile)
Arab Film Competition
A humorous, sharp take on the social milieu of a Palestinian village inside Israel. Jawdat, a restless young concrete worker, just wants to have fun with his friends, talk on his cell phone and find love - a near impossible task in a place where politics and traditional values dominate. Adding to Jawdat's problems is his curmudgeonly father, Salem, who establishes the film's irreverent tone with his opening pronouncement of his people's dilemma: "Co-existence, my ass!" Dragging Jawdat and the entire village into his outrageous battle against an Israeli cell phone tower that he fears is poisoning them with radiation, the father's hysterical behavior stands in stark contrast to his son's cool attitude to win the hearts of Muslim, Christian and even Jewish girls while wrestling with college entrance exams. The social injustice faced by Israel's minority class only appears to take second place to a more jovial narrative here. That's due to smooth, sure-handed direction by Zoabi, who seems to realize good-natured humor often produces a far stronger impact than bludgeoning audiences with polemics.
About the Directors
Sameh Zoabi was born and raised in Iksal, a Palestinian village near the city of Nazareth, Israel, in 1975. In 1998, Zoabi graduated from Tel Aviv University with a dual degree in Film Studies and English Literature. The following year, Zoabi was awarded a merit scholarship to pursue a Master’s Degree. In February 2005, he completed his Masters of Fine Arts in Film Direction at Columbia’s School of the Arts. Zoabi’s previous short film, “Be Quiet,” won Third Place honors at the Cinefondation Selection during the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. Filmmaker Magazine named Zoabi one of the Top 25 New Faces of Independent Cinema. “Man Without a Cellphone” is his feature debut.
- Sameh Zoabi
- Sameh Zoabi & Fred Rice
- Marie Gutmann, Amir Harel, Jacques-Henri Bronckart
- Simon Jacquet
- Hichame Alaouie
- Razi Shawahdeh, Bassem Loulou, Louai Nofi, Naela Zarqawy, Ayman Nahas, Amer Hlehel