Eid Milad Laila

From Eid Milad Laila (Laila’s Birthday). 2008. Palestine / Tunisia / Netherlands.
Written and directed by Rashid Masharawi. Pictured: Nour Zoubi as Laila and Mohamed Bakri as Abu Laila. Image courtesy of Kino International.

From Art Daily

NEW YORK, NY.- Laila’s Birthday (2008), the latest feature by director Rashid Masharawi (b.1962, Gaza Strip), will have a weeklong run in MoMA’s Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters from May 27 through June 1, 2009.

Laila’s Birthday
is set in the filmmaker’s chaotic hometown of Ramallah. The film follows a Palestinian judge turned taxi driver who is trying to arrange a birthday cake and gift for his young daughter’s birthday. It turns out to be an epic task as he navigates the corruption, hassles, constantly changing political winds, and Israeli checkpoints around the city, all in the space of one single day. Masharawi provides a lively and revealing portrait of both a city and decent man at the breaking point.

Masharawi’s feature debut, Ticket to Jerusalem (2003), was featured in MoMA’s 2003 New Directors/New Films. It followed his 2002 documentary Live from Palestine, which chronicled the editorial and production process of journalists working for the famed Voice of Palestine radio station. Masharawi founded the Cinema Production and Distribution Center, a film initiative that promotes local productions and organizes a mobile film-screening program aimed at bringing high-quality cinema to Palestinian refugee camps.

Laila’s Birthday
will open theatrically in select US markets this summer and fall, and will be released on DVD before the end of 2009.

MoMA Presents: Laila’s Birthday is organized by Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art.

Eid Milad Laila (Laila’s Birthday). 2008. Palestine/Tunisia/ Netherlands. Written and directed by Rashid Masharawi. With Mohammed Bakri, Areen Omari, Nour Zoubi. In Arabic; English subtitles. Print courtesy of Kino International, New York. 71 min.

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