Villa Touma

Directed by Suha Arraf

Three unmarried aristocratic Christian sisters from Ramallah have shut themselves in their villa clinging desperately to their former glory, until their orphan niece, Badia, walks into their life and turns their world upside down.


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  • ★★★★ review by Sam on Letterboxd

    -Written, directed, and produced by a female director 

    -The domestic as political

    -but not too polemical 

    -distinct female lens 

    -focus on the interior in various forms 


    -the closing shot 

    -would be good to see even without subtitles

  • ★★★½ review by HollandFocus on Letterboxd

    Suha Arraf's film unfortunately appears to have been buried beneath the furore surrounding its nationality -- or lack thereof. Funded by Israeli money but with the director wishing it to be perceived as Palestinian, "Villa Touma" is seemingly without a state, and the film's LFF brochure entry indeed contains no mention of a country in the credits. It is a pity that the film's been eclipsed by this controversy, because while by no means spectacular, it's a very solid directorial debut from "Lemon Tree" writer Arraf.

    In Ramallah, three Christian, unmarried sisters -- who vary in severity -- are cocooned in their villa in what appears to be a bid to keep the post-1967 world at bay. The trio receive an unwelcome houseguest in the form of their orphaned niece, who they quickly look to offload as they trawl every wedding and funeral in the hope of finding a suitable husband for the girl.

    Although first and foremost a drama, there's an occasional touch of black humour here, and the delicious sting in the tale -- following a brilliantly-filmed final sequence that keeps you guessing until the very last shot -- is almost guaranteed to raise a wry smile.

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