Danis Tanovic's No Man's Land used pitch-black humour to convey the absurdity of the Balkans conflict, and now Palestinian emigré Elia Suleiman employs deadpan comedy to explore the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Territories.
Initially, Divine Intervention unwinds a series of vignettes portraying neighbourly feuds amongst various residents of Nazareth. But the majority of the film focuses on a couple who regularly meet in a parking lot next to an Israeli army checkpoint.
Played by writer/director Suleiman, the man is a Palestinian living in Jerusalem whose father is recovering in hospital from a heart attack, while the woman (Manal Khader) is his girlfriend from Ramallah. Both silently observe the soldiers' antics at this artificial barrier...
The frequently wordless Divine Intervention has been compared to the works of those silent comic maestros Jacques Tati and Buster Keaton. But the gags here vary enormously, with the extended Crouching Tiger parody sequence involving a female freedom fighter being a particular misfire.