‘To a Land Unknown’ Trailer


‘To a Land Unknown’ Trailer: Here’s the Only Palestinian Film to Screen at Cannes This Year

Cannes Exclusive: Mahdi Fleifel’s Directors’ Fortnight world premiere follows cousins and refugees fleeing Greece for Germany.


Directors’ Fortnight is always a chance to catch films at the Cannes Film Festival off the main drag of the Croisette, out of the main competition, and with an eye toward boundary-breaking works. Mahdi Fleifel’s Directors’ Fortnight world premiere “To a Land Unknown” is the only Palestinian feature to screen at the festival, and IndieWire shares the exclusive trailer below.

The film follows Chatila (Mahmood Bakri) and Reda (Aram Sabbah), cousins and refugees stranded in Athens and trying to reach Germany. To escape Greece, they hatch a plan to pose as smugglers taking hostages, with dire consequences for their friendship. “It’s especially moving to me, in these incredible times, to present a Palestinian film at Cannes. As Palestinians, we challenge media stereotypes, but more importantly, we defy invisibility, a struggle we’ve faced since the beginning. Our stories are needed now more than ever,” Fleifel, born in Dubai from Palestinian parents but raised in Denmark, said announcing the movie.

Here’s the official synopsis courtesy of Directors’ Fortnight:

“After fleeing a camp in Lebanon, two Palestinian cousins, are stranded in Athens, living in an underground limbo. Desperately seeking a way to reach Germany, they find themselves caught in an uncontrollable spiral. Nourished by New York cinema (notably ‘Midnight Cowboy’), ‘To a Land Unknown’ races along like an edgy thriller, tragic but stripped back. A compelling, uncompromising and nuanced look at the living conditions of migrants.”

This is Fleifel’s first narrative feature after the acclaimed documentary “A World Not Ours” premiered at TIFF more than a decade ago. Salaud Morisset handles foreign sales on “To a Land Unknown.” Eurozoom is the French distributor. The film screens at the festival beginning May 22

This article is from IndieWire and is republished under a Creative Commons license.

To find out more about the film, please visit the film’s official website: www.ToALandUnknown.com

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