Essentially a cinema of occupation and dispossession, Palestinian cinema disrupts standard notions of national cinema, complicating conventional expectations of national aesthetics or national dreams. As the borders of Palestine's historical territory are continuously under erasure, so too are the symbolic boundaries of its language, which is flexible and inventive; the language of Palestinian cinema is a limit-language. No one has expressed this “limit condition” more succinctly than Elia Suleiman, whose cinematic language exemplifies a poetics of dispossession that depicts the asphyxiating spaces and truncated temporalities of Palestinian life with tragic humor and bold fantasy in defiance of narrative simplicity. Suleiman's films run counter to the conventional representation of Palestinian existence and are arguably the sharpest expressions of what can be deemed to be the dream-work of that existence against its conventional representation.

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