Everyday people go about their business in a poor, dusty little town somewhere in the Gaza Strip. There is the optimistic Abu Said (Ahmed Abu Sal’oum), who was once a police officer and now ekes out a living for his family as a cotton candy vendor.
His sons — Siad (Fadi el-Ghoul), arrested in a local sweep by the Israeli authorities, and jobless Said (Mahmoud Qadah) — are cynical about the peace talks and humiliated over their lost land. Anxious mothers like Oum Said (Hiyam Abbas) urge their sons to settle down with a family as a way of giving them a life and maybe preempting their political unrest, while talented young girls like Sabah (Nawal Zaquot) dream of what the future holds for them. Old women long for their children who have emigrated to Jordan, Syria and Canada.
The one unusual character is the crazed Haifa (Mohammad Bakri), nicknamed for the birthplace he loves, now an Israeli city. Leading Palestinian actor Bakri creates a warmly human soul whose aching, unfulfilled longing is a symbol for all of Palestine.
The signing of the peace agreement, watched on an old TV set, causes great excitement: A joyful parade springs up, with dancing and singing through the streets. Abu Said is recalled to his job on the police force, but it is too late — he has been paralyzed in an accident.
Co-produced by Palestine, Holland, Germany and France, film boasts good tech work. Edwin Verstegen’s camera plays up the bright colors of stores and clothes against the village’s beautifully austere bleached sand walls. Local music by Said Morad-Sabrin creates a pleasant atmosphere.