What We Like: Jay Weissberg's 'Boy from Heaven' Cannes review

"Handsomely made and solidly constructed in a cautiously contained manner that aims for a slow-burn effect," writes Weissberg on 'The Film Verdict'.
What We Like: Jay Weissberg's 'Boy from Heaven' Cannes review

World premiering at this year's Festival de Cannes, Tarik Saleh's Boy from Heaven (Walad Min Al Janna) carries the grand responsibility of being the only Arab title in Competition. In a year when Arab cinema has seen unprecedented support from within regional cinematic organizations and from its diaspora audiences, it is a bit disconcerting to see the only Competition title be a mix of the usual components that make up the Western world's perception of the Islamic world. And that, made by a part-Egyptian filmmaker, the Swedish born Saleh.

The acting in the film is stellar and Tawfeek Barhom as leading man Adam, playing opposite an unrecognizable Fares Fares, is a wonderful, gutsy choice. But as Weissberg points out, substituting Istanbul's Süleymanye Mosque as a stand-in for Al-Azhar in Cairo is a clear indication of how the filmmaker feels about his audience. And a symptom of a larger problem with the entire curating community of men and women who program film festivals. They view their audience as below them, superficial or at the very best, uninformed -- clearly not as well travelled and well read as they are!

To read the entire review on The Film Verdict, do sign onto the site, which provides an unprecedented and informative number of reviews from film festivals around the world. And find the full review here.

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