Neither kosher nor halal, the unusual catch of a Palestinian fisherman is the source of quite a few chuckles in the Euro-financed, Gaza-set "When Pigs Have Wings."
Neither kosher nor halal, the unusual catch of a Palestinian fisherman is the source of quite a few chuckles in the Euro-financed, Gaza-set “When Pigs Have Wings.” French novelist-turned-director Sylvain Estibal’s first feature lacks, somewhat ironically, a clear dramatic structure, though a humanistic perf from thesp Sasson Gabay (“The Band’s Visit”) and a combo of gentle situational comedy and light sociopolitical critique partially compensate for the story’s tendency to ramble. Limited fall release did respectable numbers in Gaul, and the marketing-ready premise could generate niche biz elsewhere.
Penniless piscator Jafaar (Gabbay) finds a pig in his nets, and his chronic poverty dictates that he find a buyer for the unclean beast, though that’s easier said than done. Jafaar tries a variety of options, which include taking it to the U.N., selling its sperm and, somewhat bizarrely, performing an unexpected stint as a suicide bomber. All are played for gentle laffs, though Jafaar’s rapport with his wife (Baya Belal) and the Israeli soldiers (Ido Shaked, Thierry Lopez) on their roof inject a welcome sobering note. Below-the-line credits, including a simple but effective score, are on the money.