When I Saw You review

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Displaced following the Six Days War, Palestinian boy Tarek (Mahmoud Asfa) lives with his mother Ghaydaa (Ruba Blal) in a refugee camp in Jordan. But Tarek hates it, so he sets off home. At which point, Annemarie Jacir’s sharp coming-of-age drama takes an unexpected turn.

Subverting the obvious staples of revolutionary drama, Jacir deploys a warm, often wryly amusing humanism even as Tarek’s odyssey becomes a pointed metaphor for his homeland’s struggle: it’s better to do something than sit around.

Political without point-scoring, Jacir remains true to a child’s-eye view, with Asfa’s delightful, exuberant performance always upfront.