#IsraelPalestineSeries: In Between (Bar Bahar) | No. 7

Film: In Between (Bar Bahar - بَر بَحَر‎‎)

Released: 2017

Director: Maysaloun Hamoud 
Starring: Mouna Hawa as Layla, Shaden Kanboura as Nour, Sana Jammelieh as Salma
Language: Arabic

Hello! I’ve been trying to write this post for about a week now, and i’m just keen to get it out so that anybody can catch the film in UK cinemas whilst it’s still out, so I will keep it brief.

I ran to watch this last Saturday at the Ciné Lumière in South Kensington after seeing the director Maysaloun Hamoud on Newsnight a few days before. (I will link the interview below) The film has been causing a stir in the Arab world because of the controversial ‘western’ lives lived by the women in this film. Hamoud was in the UK just over a week ago doing a lot of press, and a few Q&As after screenings.

Bar Bahar tell the story of three Palestinian women living in Tel Aviv. Salma is a lesbian with strict Christian parents, so she keeps this side of her life hidden. Layla is a lawyer by day but a hardcore drinker/drug user and party animal outside of work, and her lifestyle poses a problem for her boyfriend who would rather hide her from his family on account of her behaviour. Layla and Salma live together and are joined by Nour, a conservative Muslim student from a small town with a very traditional fiancée.

For me this was a beautiful story about female friendship. I appreciate the stir this film has caused because without it I would never have heard of it and never gone to see it myself. Get yourself to a screening whilst you still can!