Screened as part of NZIFF 2010

The Time That Remains 2009

Directed by Elia Suleiman

A deadpan black comedy memoir of growing up Palestinian in Israel. “Suleiman is turning the political into something extremely hysterical.” — Time Out NY

Belgium / France / Italy / Palestine / UK In Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles
105 minutes



Michael Gentile
Elia Suleiman


Marc-André Batigne


Véronique Lange

Production designer

Sharif Waked

Costume designer

Judy Shrewsbury


Elia Suleiman (ES)
Saleh Bakri (Fuad)
Samar Qudha Tanus (Mother 1970-80)
Shafika Bajjali (Mother today)
Tarek Qubti (the neighbour)
Zuhair Abu Hanna (ES as a child)
Ayman Espanioli (ES as a teenager)
Bilal Zidani (Jubran)
Leila Mouammar (Thuraya)
Yasmine Haj (Nadia)
Amer Hlehel (Anis)
Nina Jarjoura (Rose)
Georges Khleifi (mayor)


Cannes (In Competition), Toronto, Pusan, Vancouver, London 2009; Rotterdam 2010


Elia Suleiman’s blackly comic memoir of growing up Palestinian in Israel is steeped in retrospective understanding of what he didn’t understand at the time: his dashing father’s participation in the doomed resistance of 1948, and his parents’ subsequent lifelong adjustment to their powerlessness. As funny and imposingly ironic as his two earlier films (eg Divine Intervention, NZIFF02), this one is uniquely freighted with filial love. — BG.

“Suleiman makes deadpan comedies. They’re often as witty, at least in terms of pacing and unspoken desperation, as Buster Keaton’s… But here’s the provocative thing: Suleiman’s subject is, and always has been, Palestinian-Israeli relations and Arabic issues. Perhaps black comedy is the only sane response to an insane situation… The Time That Remains… is filled with small, brilliant set pieces… Suleiman is turning the political into something extremely hysterical.” — Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out NY