Jewish Israeli filmmaker Eran Kolirin is best
known for his 2007 film, The Band’s Visit, a film about an Egyptian band
who becomes stranded in a small town in Israel. Let It Be Morning also
deals with confinement in a small community when Israeli military forces block
the only road out of a village. A Palestinian family with Israeli citizenship
is stuck in the village along with others who were in the area for a wedding. There
are clear political themes running throughout Kolirin’s film, but more
impactful are the relatable human moments. To consider Let It Be Morning
as a film either implicitly or unintentionally addressing Covid-era themes
seems like low-hanging fruit, however accurate. At the center of the film are a
group of people longing to fix the mess that they have made from their lives,
while also being limited in what choices are available due to the circumstances
of their situation.
The wedding the
film begins with joins bride Lina (Yara Elham Jarrar) and the groom Aziz (Samir
Bishirat), whose families are at the center of the storyline. The main focus of
the narrative is Aziz’s sullen older brother Sami (Alex Bakri), who lives in
Jerusalem with his wife and son thanks to a well-paying executive job. Sami’s
wife Mira (Juna Suleiman) suspects problems in their relationship and even Aziz
recognizes the signs that his brother has been unfaithful, though both this
extramarital relationship and his job are put at risk by the confinement.
With nothing but
time, all of the issues these characters are dealing with inevitably bubble to
the surface, as characters look for proactive ways to cope with the quarantine.
Food and water is in short supply in the village and the family soon must get
creative, while undocumented Arab’s in the community are picked up by the government,
out of fears that the United States and Iran are at risk of going to war. There
is a lot going on within Let It Be Morning, and yet the film somehow
still manages a leisurely pace. Although there is tension within the plot, the
suspense is mostly dissipated by the absurdity of many situations, often
punctuated with comedy instead. This is a refreshing different way to approach the
material, not entirely unlike The Band’s Visit, though some audiences may be disappointed
to find the narrative’s lack of resolution. However, this seems entirely intentional
given the state of politics in the region.
release of Let It Be Morning doesn’t have any special features and the film itself
doesn’t demand high definition presentation.
Special Features: 0/10