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ELIA SULEIMAN, Divine Intervention, 2002, still from film: 92 min. Courtesy the artist and Pyramide Films, Paris.

Bani Abidi on Elia Suleiman

During the opening credits of Elia Suleiman’s 2002 film Divine Intervention, a middle-aged Arab man drives down a street in Nazareth. Along the way, he passes relatives and neighbors who wave to him as he smiles and waves back, a cigarette dangling from his lips. The soundtrack softens and you hear him mumbling something under his breath. He is cussing at each and every one of them, while gesturing back warmly, each profanity worse than the one before.

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David Zwirner Wuzhen 2019 ACAW