DIRECTOR(S): Annemarie Jacir   COUNTRY: Palestine   YEAR: 2017   LANGUAGE(S): Arabic   SUBTITLES: German   RUNNING TIME: 96 min

SECTION: International Competition 2019


Thursday, 03.10., 2.15 pm, Caritas-Pirckheimer-Haus
Sunday, 06.10., 8.15 pm, kommkino


The title of WAJIB translates as ‘duty’, and it’s duty that brings architect Shadi (Saleh Bakri) from Rome back to Nazareth, where his sister Amal is to be married. Local tradition dictates that Shadi and his divorced dad, Abu Shadi (Mohammad Bakri), must drive around town delivering wedding invitations. Friction is in the air even before the duo clamber into Abu Shadi’s beloved and beaten-up old Volvo. Shadi thinks the exercise is outdated and meaningless. For his father, it’s about maintaining important community rituals. Bakri and son Saleh are terrific and earthily funny as the bickering duo who meet colourful characters on their cross-city travels.

Director’s Statement
In Palestine, there is a tradition which remains a big part of life today. When someone gets married, the men of the family, usually the father and sons, are expected to personally deliver the wedding invitations to each invitee in person. There is no mailing of invitations, or having them delivered by strangers. And unless the invitations are personally delivered, it is considered disrespectful. I don’t know any other place which adheres to this tradition as much as the Palestinians living in the North of Palestine, where WAJIB is set. “Wajib” loosely means “social duty”. When my husband’s sister got married, it was his wajib to deliver the invitations with his father. I decided to silently tag along as he and his father spent five days traversing the city and surrounding villages delivering each invitation. As the silent observer, it was at times funny and other times painful. Aspects of that special relationship between father and son, the tensions of a sometimes tested love between them, came out in small ways. I began working on the idea for a film about this fragile relationship.


Annemarie Jacir was born in 1975 in Bethlehem and lived in Saudi Arabia until the age of 16. She received her education in the United States. Since 1994, she has been working in independent film production. Jacir is co-founder of Philistine Films, which is an independent film production company that dedicates itself to productions from Arabic countries and Iran. Several award-winning short films were written, produced and put into realization by Jacir, such as A Post Oslo History (1999), The Satellite Shooters (2001) and Like Twenty Impossibles (2003). Salt of this Sea was her first feature-length film. Jacir presented it for the offical selection of Cannes. When I Saw You was made in Jordan, where Jacir lived, because she was being kept from reentering her home country. Eventually she was able to move back to Palestina. Jacris lyric poetry as well as her short stories were published in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Wajib, her third feature film, premiered in 2017 and won several prizes at the Locarno Film Festival and others.


Salt of this Sea (2008, NIHRFF 2009), When I Saw You (2012), Wajib (2017)

SCRIPT: Annemarie Jacir   PRODUCER: Ossama Bawardi   CAMERA: Antoine Héberlé   EDITOR: Jacques Comets   MUSIC: Koo Abu Ali   CAST: Mohammad Bakri, Saleh Bakri, Maria Zreik

PRODUCTION: Philistine Films   WORLD SALES: Ilaria Gomarasca, Pyramide International   GERMAN DISTRIBUTOR: Irit Neidhardt, mec film