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THE TIME THAT REMAINS is a humorous, heartbreaking film composed of elegantly stylized autobiographical episodes from the life of writer/director Elia Suleiman. The film explores life among the Israeli Arab community, and is shot largely in homes and places in which Suleiman's family once lived. Inspired by his father's diaries, letters his mother sent to family members who had fled the Israeli occupation, and the director's own recollections, the film spans from 1948 until the present, recounting the saga of the filmmaker's family in subtly hilarious vignettes. Inserting himself as a silent observer reminiscent of Buster Keaton, Suleiman trains a keen eye on the absurdities of life in Nazareth.
Suleiman's obvious gift for cinema makes you wish that in connecting so personally with his past, he'd occasionally reach out to the audience, too.Adam Markovitz, Entertainment Weekly, 01.19.2011
Seven years after Divine Intervention, director Elia Suleiman returns with more humorous-sad stories from his native Palestine, couched in the ironic autobiographical language at which he is grandly adept.Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter, 02.04.2011
The Never-ending Story between Arabs and Jews gets another wryly humorous workout, marbled with personal sadness and mystification, in The Time That Remains.Derek Elley, Variety, 01.04.2011
A thorny and intricate film that is also breathtakingly simple and honest.A.O. Scott, New York Times, 01.06.2011