Best known as the co-writer of The Syrian Bride and The Lemon Tree, Suha Arraf makes her narrative-feature debut with this intimate, masterfully written Chekhovian drama.

Leaving the orphanage in Jerusalem where she was raised, eighteen-year-old Badia (Maria Zreik) arrives at the home of her spinster aunts in Ramallah. She finds a house – and three lives – frozen in time. The sisters, Juliette (Nisreen Faour), Violet (Ula Tabari) and Antoinette (Cherien Dabis), are the last remnants of the Christian minority. In their fifties and nearly destitute, they are ruled by Juliette’s strict domestic routines and their perception of themselves as ladies of the upper crust. Now saddled with the daughter of their late brother, the sisters decide to dispense with this upheaval by marrying Badia off. But Badia’s spirited temperament rattles the sisters, and soon secrets and grudges cascade through Villa Touma. Aided by wonderful performances, Arraf announces herself as a significant director in her own right.

Jane Schoettle

Toronto International Film Festival

With special guest Suha Arraf


Please note that the festival is over 18s only