Palestina, Jordania, Quatar, Suecia, Italia — 2020
There’s a beguiling simplicity at the heart of 200 Meters, a striking debut feature by Ameen Nayfeh that reveals its layers with great assurance and patience. Mustafa, brilliantly played by Ali Suliman, is a Palestinian father and husband, separated from his family over in the West Bank, just 200 meters away. Unable to cross the wall, he is forced to embark on a circuitous journey after learning his son has been hospitalized. The subsequent unfurling of events is beautifully marshaled, and the film moves from intimate drama to road trip, eventually adopting the tenor of a gripping low-key thriller. It’s a bold, surprising gambit, but even with a cautious nod to genre trappings, Nayfeh’s film never strays far from the personal. It takes the time to find moments of disarming everyday joy - a meme glimpsed on a phone, a stolen kiss in the kitchen, or an impromptu dance session with workmates. These moments deftly amplify the complexities and nuance of life under a regime - a state of perpetual ambiguity with no simple catharsis. This incisive, subtly metaphorical film taps into this sense of suspended reality with thrilling acuity and the understanding that persistence born of love can rarely be constrained.
Review by: Jim Kolmar
Odeh Films in co-production with MeMo Films, Metafora Adler Entertainment Film I Skåne and Way Feature Films