It Must Be Heaven (2019)

Elia Suleiman is in every scene of It Must Be Heaven, but he only speaks four words. The writer-director-star finds himself in a New York taxi cab in the midst of a globe-trotting journey after fleeing his drab routine back home. Asked where he comes from, he replies, “Nazareth,” then clarifies: “I am Palestinian.” And that’s pretty much all you need to know. For the rest of the movie, Suleiman’s deadpan stare says it all, as the slapstick auteur’s latest installment in his ongoing chronicle of Palestinian identity settles into his usual playful routine. Once again, the Chaplinesque Suleiman drifts through an ambivalent world, and his solemn expression does the bulk of the talking.

Eric Kohn, IndieWire

As a director, Elia Suleiman knows how to compose the frame to get the most out of each gag, and as a performer, he recognizes that his arched eyebrows are powerful tools of comedy and employs them as such. Those are helpful assets for an easy-going film that coolly ambles forward as a series of short sketches and vignettes, while maintaining a fairly detached tone.

Ben Croll, The Wrap

  • Language: Arabic, English, Spanish, Hebrew, French
  • Subtitles: partly English
  • Distribution: Wild Bunch
  • Cinematography: Sofian El Fani
  • Editing: Véronique Lange
  • Sound: Laure-Anne Darras, Olivier Touche
  • Production design: Caroline Adler

Collaboration