Film Review: In Between

Israeli films which make it as far as the UK, as a rule, tend to fall into two categories. The first, unsurprisingly, is about all aspects of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The second tends to focus on those living outside of the norms of orthodox religion or gender disparity. The latter has been admirably represented of late by the likes of Through the Wall, GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem and Fill the Void. In Maysaloun Hamoud’s new film In Between she focusses on three Israeli-Palestinian women living in Tel Aviv.

Laila (Mouna Hawa), a criminal defence lawyer, and Salma (Sana Jammelieh), a part-time DJ, work hard and party hard. Away from their conservative families, they enjoy their lives outside the constraints and conventions of a traditional society. However, social pressure is never too far away. And when Nour (Shaden Kanboura), a quiet and reserved student, moves in to their spare room, it starts a chain of events which will have a life-changing impact on all of their lives.

In Between is an endearing fresh drama about three young women trying to live their lives in a traditional ultra-conservative religious patriarchy. The three protagonists are undoubtedly the stars, but it’s Hamoud’s sharp script which is the real winner. She keeps things light and brisk, whilst introducing serious topics; allowing their relationships to take centre stage. She was issued with a fatwa for her troubles. In Between is an outstanding drama which pitches feminism against orthodoxy.

In Between is out in cinemas from Friday.

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