Arts & Artists
Khleifi, Michel

(1950- )

Born in Nazareth.

• Route 181: fragments of a Journey in Palestine-Israel, 2003

• Mariages interdits en Terre Sainte (Forbidden Marriages in the Holy Land), 1995

• Tale of the Three Jewels, 1995

• L'ordre du jour, 1992

• Cantique des pierres, 1990

• Wedding in Galillee, 1986. Winner Cannes Film Festival's Prix de la Critique Internationale, 1987, San Sebastian Film Festival's Golden Shell

• Maloul fête sa destruction, 1984

• La mémoire fertile, 1980


Tale of the Three Jewels is the first feature film ever to be filmed in the Gaza Strip. It is the story of a twelve-year-old boy who lives in an imaginary world of his own and often escapes from the surrounding violence to the beautiful Gaza countryside. One day he meets Aida, a girl with whom he falls in love. When Youssef declares his intention of marrying her when they grow up, she tells him that he must first find three jewels missing from her grandmother’s necklace, which was brought from South America by her grandfather. This sets him off on an amazing adventure.

"Wedding in Galilee [1986] is the story of a challenge which pits two gods against each other, in the tragic sense of the word. One, the Israeli governor, holds military power. The other, Al-Mukhtar, the head of a Palestinian village, holds patriarchal power. Both seek the favor of destiny and destiny fails them both. In the end, only the people of the village are victors. Each of the two characters is trying to achieve some goal: the governor, to 'penetrate the soul' of the village by allowing the wedding of Al-Mukhtar's son to take place only on condition that the Israeli authorities attend; Al-Mukhtar, to stage the traditionally grand ceremony proving both his son's virility and his own worth. But the meaning of life is death and nothing more; politics, religion are myths. Only the bridegroom's failure to do what is expected of him is real and it gives birth to love. Only everyday life is real. And Palestine is the mythic country par excellence. Wedding in Galilee attempts to combine myth and reality in a poetic description of reality: a synthesis of image, sound, rhythm, mood and feeling -- a whole series of landscapes which together converge to deliver a message of freedom." Khleifi

Prix de la Critique Internationale, Cannes 1987
Golden Concha, San Sebastian FF. (Spain) 1987
Golden Tanit, Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage, Tunisia
Public's Prize, Chaumont (France)
Cavens Prize, Humanum Prize, Plateau Prize
Best Belgian film 1987 and Best Benelux film, Best Social Film Prize,Finalist, UCC Prize (Belgium).