Arab and Tarzan Nasser: “Our main idea was to make a love story from Gaza”

The brothers and directors of Gaza mon amour, Tarzan Nasser (left) and Arab Nasser
  • The directors cast for this movie the same actors they worked with in their first feature film
  • Gaza mon amour will represent Palestine at the Oscars

10/28/2020.- Identical twin brothers Arab Nasser and Tarzan Nasser have returned to the Valladolid International Film Festival after their first visit in 2015, when they presented Dégradé, their first feature-length film. They are back at the 65th edition with Gaza mon amour, a love story for which they cast many of the same actors they worked with in their first feature film.

According to the directors, who answered questions from audience members after the screening of their film, the reason behind casting actors they have already worked with is they trust their work. When it comes to this film, the main search was focused on Issa (Salim Daw), the main character. “We don’t really make a distinction between main and secondary characters; we follow the same process for everyone, it doesn’t matter if they are the protagonists or not,” they said.

The basic idea this time was to make a love story from Gaza, as they explained. They later connected it with the true story of a fisherman who discovered a statue of Apollo in 2013. “We thought we might as well combine that story with a love story, and the result is Gaza mon Amour. In the film, Issa, a single 60-year-old fisherman, finally gathers up the courage to approach the widow he is in love with, Siham (Hiam Abbass), feeling increasingly confident after his peculiar discovery.

The film will represent Palestine at the Oscars. The filmmakers said how pleased they are to be able to put the people of Gaza at the center of the international arena: “We are proud to be helping the voice of the simple people living in Gaza, because of the situation they live in, be heard at the highest spheres”. They also said that Issa’s character, who once he has made up his mind never gives up, represents the people of Gaza very well.

Premiere postponed sine die

According to Daniel Bajo, from the distribution company Karma Films, who attended the screening, there is no release date for the film yet. “We are also waiting for the premiere in France, since it will be released there first. We released several films during lockdown that didn’t work so well. We will be releasing one next week, Adam (Maryam Touzani), which was screened at Seminci last year, and it will this year’s last. We’re going to wait and see how things go, and I guess the release will take place around spring next year if things get a little better”.

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