In Between

500 Days Of Film Reviews Drama, In Between, Starring Mouna Hawa, Sana Jammelieh And Shaden Kanboura

Laila (Mouna Hawa), Salma (Sana Jammelieh) and Nour (Shaden Kanboura) are three strong and independent-minded Israeli-Palestinian women who share an apartment in Tel Aviv. Away from the constraints of their families and enforced tradition, they find themselves ‘in between’ the free and unfettered lives they’re aspiring to lead and the restrictions still imposed on them by their country and their families.  

 

Laila, a successful lawyer, craves the love of a good man, Salma works at menial jobs in restaurants and bars hoping to become a DJ and Nour is studying for a degree.

 

When the three girls are rocked by a shocking series of events, their beliefs are pushed to the limit and their lives are changed forever. 

Is It Any Good?

Maysaloun Hamoud’s debut feature is a stunning film about the power of female friendship. Laila, Salma and Nour’s experiences in Tel Aviv reminded me of Sex And The City (the series not the films) and Girls in the free-spirited, joyous way the girls explore their freedom, their friendships and their identity.

 

However, Hamoud’s film is elevated by the fact that, beneath the fun, there lies a serious critique of a disturbingly patriarchal Palestinian society. A place where, despite their aspirations, the girls are trapped by often brutal expectations and tradition. 

 

 

It is wonderful to watch Laila, Salma and Nour’s friendship grow and, such is the power of Hamoud's story and the film's authentic central performances (Hawa, Jammelieh and Kanboura are all superb), that you really root for all three girls. 

 

All they ask is for the freedom to be themselves. What they get is, at best, rejection and, at worst, truly shocking displays of violence and repression. 

 

However, whenever they face seemingly insurmountable obstacles, when they seem about to be consumed by their own society, Hamoud gives us hope - bringing the girls together to demonstrate (in many deeply moving scenes) the true power of female friendship.  

 

Random Observations

In Between’s original title is Bar Bahar.

 

Have you seen In Between? 

 

If you have, what did you think of Maysaloun Hamoud’s film? Let me know in the comments section below or via Facebook or Twitter (@500DaysOfFilm).

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