Director: Tawfik Abu Wael
Country: Israel, Palestine
Year of Production: 2004
Winner of the International Critics' Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, this beautiful and powerful debut feature from the brilliant young Arab filmmaker, TAWFIK ABU WAEL, is also an important groundbreaking collaboration between a Palestinian writer/director and an Israeli producer, financiers and crew - the first of its kind.
Abu Shukri and his family have settled alone in a valley far from their home town. Tyrannical father, Shukri rules the home with an iron fist, forcing his wife and three children to burn fires all day to make charcoal. When he decides to build a pipeline to bring fresh water to their home, it awakens their instinct for freedom, but carries with it tragic consequences for the entire family.
Featuring haunting music, stunning cinematography, and incredibly moving performances from the non-professional cast, ATASH is a complex, assured and vivid first feature from an exciting filmmaker, and one to watch for the future.
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"Atash is undoubtedly a beautiful film. Abu Wael is arguably the most exciting Arab film-maker to have emerged in more than a decade"
"impressive... a bold, brave film"
"often sublime... provocative, yet affecting"
"a meditative film... lyrical cinematography... affecting performances"
"a confident, beautifully composed film"
"Tawfik Abu Wael's directorial debut is a complex, brooding film powered by an almost classical sense of tragedy... the tensions created by these characters' needs rumble ominously through the film's loaded silences. Abu Wael has a painterly eye for a beautiful cinematic shot"
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