Review by Tatiana Miranda
Directed by Israeli director Eran Kolirin and based on Palestinian Sayed Kashua’s novel of the same name, Let It Be Morning is a collaborative work that seemingly defies the current Israel-Palestine conflict at the center of the film. The movie opens at the height of a wedding in a small Arabic village in Israel. Sami, who is the older brother of the groom, is clearly more accustomed to metropolitan life than the family and friends he interacts with during the wedding. Whether it’s for his high-paying job or secret mistress, he is perpetually on his phone as he wanders around the wedding. His superiority complex is apparent during his interactions with his family and old friends, and it’s clear that he longs to escape the confines of his hometown and dysfunctional family.
Unluckily for him, though, as the wedding ends and his family attempts to return to their home in Jerusalem, he discovers that Israeli soldiers have locked down the town. Frustrated yet hopeful that they will be able to return home soon, they go back to the center of the village to stay with Sami’s parents and other relatives. Soon after, the town’s power shuts off, quite literally leaving them in the dark and cementing their fate for the foreseeable future. And with no power or way back home, Sami is now unable to hide from his family via his work and mistress in Jerusalem.
The reason for the lockdown is later revealed to be a way to capture illegal West Bank Palestinians that are residing in the village, one of which is building a house for Sami’s family. Even though Sami and his father try to protect him, there is a clear class and cultural divide between the three men. While none of the central characters are threatened due to the Israeli manhunt, the main characters have their own varying perspectives on the actions of the Israeli soldiers.
Although Let It Be Morning is definitely a heartfelt drama about family and the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict, it is also intensely comical at times. This is especially true for the failed release of doves at the wedding, where instead of flying beautifully out of their cage, the doves hide, moving deeper into the darkness. While hilarious to see such a highly anticipated action fail miserably, it is also representative of the confines that those in the lockdown are subjected to. Their hesitance to rebel, even against the singular young guard that resides along the border, mirrors the doves’ hesitance to fly away.
A sharp commentary on current politics, Let It Be Morning is also a story of growth for Sami as he is forced to adapt to his current conditions. While the film captures the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine in a unique and informative light, it is also an in-depth character study of each central character as they try to achieve freedom. Full of emotion and bouts of dark comedy, Let It Be Morning is exceptionally poignant and entertaining to watch.
Let It Be Morning releases in select theaters on February 3.