Life is Beautiful
The young Palestinian director Mohamed Jabaly is visiting a film festival in northern Norway when the borders to Gaza close. He finds himself stuck in the arctic winter. Little does he know that it will be seven years before he can see his family again.
Waiting for the situation to change, he extends his temporary artist visa and completes his film Ambulance, together with new colleagues in the north.
The film becomes an international success, placing Mohamed in an extraordinary dilemma: If he returns to Gaza, he may never be able to travel again, effectively ending his career just as it is starting. However, applying for asylum is unthinkable, as is permanently leaving his family and hometown. Therefore, he decides to take on a different challenge – the Norwegian immigration authorities. Insisting on his right to be acknowledged as both a filmmaker and a Palestinian, he points his camera at himself to take control of his story and shape his future - under the motto “Life is Beautiful”.
Life is Beautiful is an insider’s take on what it means to leave an area of conflict and persevere when denied permission to work and travel. Using his camera as a diary, he records seven years of euphoric triumphs and heart-wrenching defeat, providing unique insight into a modern struggle for self-determination.
We hope that the film can reach a diverse audience, including those who can identify with Mohamed’s experiences and feel empowered by his optimism and success.