fbpx Biennale Cinema 2020 | Laila in Haifa
La Biennale di Venezia

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Laila in Haifa

Venezia 77 Competition
Amos Gitai
Agav Films (Laurent Truchot, Amos Gitai), CDP Productions (Catherine Dussart)
Running Time:
Hebrew, Arabic, English
Israel, France
Main Cast:
Maria Zreik, Khawla Ibraheem, Bahira Ablassi, Naama Preis, Tsahi Halevi, Makram J. Khoury
Amos Gitai, Marie-Jose Sanselme
Eric Gautier
Yuval Orr
Production Designer:
Arie Wiess
Costume Designer:
Shani Bar-Ness
Alexey Kochetkov
Michel Kharat, Ronen Nagel, Massimo Rocchi


Over the course of one night, we witness the interweaving stories of five women through a series of encounters and situations, defying all categories and labels in their relationships and personal identities. With an ensemble cast of both Israeli and Palestinian actors, Laila in Haifa is a drama with wry humor set over one night in a club in the port town of Haifa. The film presents a candid snapshot of contemporary life in one of the last remaining spaces where Israelis and Palestinians come together to engage in face-to-face relationships. The club itself is vital to the fabric of the film.
Amos Gitai delivers a sensitive and distinctly humanist reflection of life in the region. Laila in Haifa is a lieu de rencontres, a moment of dialogue, in a region that otherwise suffers from chronic violence and hatred. Posing the questions: how can the arts create a space in which people can express their different identities but are looking for ways of mutual and peaceful coexistence? How can the language of cinema using juxtaposition of fragments of stories create a common human tissue?


It’s a heavy dark and humid evening in the port city of Haifa. We are entering a bar, supposedly to see an exhibition of photos by a militant Israeli photographer. Gil meets the director of the gallery Laila (which is an Arabic first name and in Hebrew a word that also means “night”). He is carried away into a labyrinth of human relationships. This club, Fattoush, is a refuge for people of all origins: men and women, straight and gay, Jews and Arabs, radical and moderate.
We learn that we can be different, but we don’t need to kill or destroy the other. Every society needs the “Other” among us. This is a feature of modernity, beyond the Middle East. And after all we, the artist, the filmmaker, the wanderer, can just cast another brick in the wall.


PRODUCTION 1: Laurent Truchot, Amos Gitai - Agav Films
37 Rashi street
69757 – Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel. 972 544510295
Mob. 33 679825805

PRODUCTION 2: Catherine Dussart - CDP productions
25 rue Gambetta
92100 – Boulogne, France
Tel. + 33 685259280
Mob. +33 685259280

OTHERS COPRODUCTIONS: Patrick Jeanneret - In Between Productions, Switzerland; Stephen Hendel - Dundee Productions, USA; Andrea Di Nardo - Laser Film, Italy; Moshe Leon Hedery - United King Films, Israel;

WORLD SALES: Marta Ravani – Hanway Films Limited
8 basing Street
W11 1ET – London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7290 0750


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Biennale Cinema
Biennale Cinema