One doesn’t expect to go into a screening of two small-budget Palestinian dramas and to come out hating Disney and Netflix even more… but what I learned at Thursday night’s double screening of Samar Qupty’s narrative short Hush and Hanadi Elyan’s feature length Salma’s Home is that one must always be prepared to despise the Big Mouse.
Both directors were present for the screening, as was Salma’s Home producer Nathan Bennett (also Elyan’s husband). The showing at Emerson Paramount Theatre was the world premiere for Hush, a 20-minute short about an unplanned premarital pregnancy in Palestine.
Professional, slick, hilarious, and built around an economic cast, Salma’s Home feels like high-quality Turkish television at times: three women, two of whom married the same man, are forced to live together through various unfortunate circumstances—and they must muster enough positivity to come together and save their newly shared home. Salma (Juliet Awad) is an old woman who is struggling to meet her mortgage payments with a home-run bakery after her ex-husband, Bakri, dies. Her daughter, Farah (Sameera Asir), has some marital problems of her own and a drinking problem. And the newly widowed and struggling Instagram influencer Lamia (Rania Kurdi) married Bakri after he divorced Salma… only made more awkward by the fact that the divorce was never finalized, so now both wives’ names are on the house title.
So, what does Mickey have to do with these films?
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