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Divine Intervention Review

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Separated by a checkpoint, two Palestinian lovers living in Jerusalem and Ramallah arrange clandestine meetings, in this drama that looks at relations between Arabs and Jews.

★★★★

Subtitled A Chronicle Of Love And Pain, this is more a compilation of memorable moments than a coherent statement on the often irrational tensions dividing Israel's Muslims and Jews.

The Nazareth opening bears the observational subtlety of a Jacques Tati satire, but, following the shift in location after Suleiman's father's heart attacks, the accuracy of the barbs becomes a little more wayward. Episodes involving the collapse of a lookout tower and an all-conquering female ninja strain the credibility, especially after such inspired incidents as Suleiman's traffic-light showdown with an Israeli zealot and the sedate passage of a balloon bearing Yasser Arafat's face across Jerusalem.

But the most telling image has Suleiman and Palestinian girlfriend Manal Khader holding hands at the checkpoint outside Ramallah, as it shows the tragedy of the conflict in a uniquely human way.

A precisely structured, surreal and highly stylised take on Middle East politics.