Palestinian film Ave Maria is a fable about doubting one’s assumptions. But what cannot be doubted is the film’s success.
After premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in May, it has played, so far, at 75 festivals in about 30 countries over nine months, and picked up 16 awards. Now, its Palestinian British director, Basil Khalil, is in Los Angeles, hoping to win an Oscar, having been nominated for Best Live Action Short Film. It is the first time an Arab film has been nominated in the category.
Ave Maria is a black comedy about five nuns whose vow of silence is disturbed when an Israeli settler family crashes its car outside a West Bank convent just as the Sabbath, the day of rest on which religious Jews refrain from certain activities, comes into effect. The nuns and the settlers must confront the strict rules of silence and the Sabbath respectively in order to be rid of each other.