When Pigs Have Wings

2011 [ARABIC]


Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

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909.2 MB
Arabic 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 38 min
P/S ...
1.82 GB
Arabic 5.1
24 fps
1 hr 38 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by FrenchEddieFelson7 / 10

A politcal entertainment

Jafaar (Sasson Gabay) is a Palestinian fisherman who lives humbly or even poorly with his wife Fatima (Baya Belal) in the Gaza Strip. During a fishing, Jafaar accidentally catches in his nets a Vietnamese pig unexpectedly fallen from a freighter. In order to improve his miserable existence, Jafaar will improvise an incredible and barely-recommendable trade with the Israelis.

Funny or even hilarious, When Pigs Have Wings (2011) is a poetic fable that avoids the political commitment while denouncing an absurd situation. The director Sylvain Estibal achieves an endearing 'tour de force' with subtlety and tenderness. 7/8 of 10

Reviewed by Karl Self3 / 10

Modern fairy tales always take place in Israel and the occupied territories

The fishermen of Gaza aren't allowed to sail to the high seas and therefore hardly land anything. Especially Jafaar, a likable chap, who returns to port with two sardines (and two single sandals),when his colleagues at least catch something they can sell on the market. Jafaar is like Chaplin's Little Tramp, a likable loser who never stops trying and never loses hope. Then, one day, he lands a big catch: a living pig! However, as a Muslim he can't eat it himself, he fails to sell it to a UN official (the only Christian he knows),and the Jews won't buy it either. Then he finds a Russian girl in a Jewish settlement (in this movie, there are still Jewish settlements in Gaza) who is at least willing to enter into a limited business agreement with Jafaar ...

There is a veritable industry churning out movies about the Middle East conflict. The stories are usually modern fairy tales, probably in order to address the absurd reality without hurting anyone, and all characters are charming and full of human weaknesses. Israeli soldiers are usually gruff on the outside (the movie is critical!),but when you get to know them they're just ordinary chaps who watch Telenovelas just like everybody else (the movie is balanced and by no means antisemitic!).

I thought that the plot was too thin to sustain a 90-minute film. The actors were excellent and made the most out of it, but overall I didn't learn anything new about the Israeli-Palestinian-conflict -- or in fact, anything at all. The sweltering conflict would warrant a movie which gives us a new perspective even at the cost of balance, rather than putting us to bed with a fairy tale on the strength of human nature.

Reviewed by guy-bellinger8 / 10

Pigs Fly!

In this quite entertaining as well as very thought-provoking first feature film, Sylvain Estibal asks a question similar to the one the great French writer Montesquieu asked in his 1721 "Persian Letters": "How can one be Persian?". This time, being Persian is not the issue anymore. Estibal's more contemporaneous (but no less relevant) question is actually: "How can one be Palestinian... and survive?"

"Le cochon de Gaza" ("When Pigs Fly", in its English-speaking version) indeed revolves around a Palestinian, a local everyman named Jafaar, neither heroic nor radical, who lives hand-to-mouth as a fisherman. One day, he does a most unexpected catch : it is a pig he captures in his nets! So, what to do with such an animal insofar as it is considered unholy both by his Muslim co-religionists and by the Jewish occupier? Kill it? But it is easier said than done for someone like Jafaar who knows no violence! Sell it to someone of the U.N. forces ? But who the hell buys a living pig? Sell it to his Palestinian brothers? He cannot even think about that! Sell it to the Israeli? Not as easy as pie! Eventually, as Sylvain Estibal (who wrote and directed) votes for optimism rather than tragedy, everything comes right, but not without many tribulations involved by hiding the pig from all, including Jafaar's no-nonsense wife, Israeli military and police forces and (to no avail) from Palestinian fundamentalists...

In between, the imaginative Estibal will have managed to develop many a funny episode (the fledgling rapprochement between Jafaar's wife and the Israeli soldier made possible by the soap opera they both watch on TV; Jafaar as an unwilling martyr, ...) and found a few irresistible gags (the pornographic photos of scantily clad she-pigs meant to arouse Jafaar's pig sexually; the pig disguised as a sheep,... ) while documenting at the same time what everyday life in Palestine is like and delivering a sensible message of tolerance to the feuding brothers.

A serious film that does not take itself seriously, "Le cochon de Gaza" is a breath of fresh air in the polluted atmosphere of the never- ending Israeli-Palestinian confrontation. Much of the impact of this pleasing philosophical tale lies on the shoulders of the marvelous Sasson Gabai (already admirable in "The Band's Visit"),a consummate actor who , like a Middle East Charlie Chaplin, gives the character of Jafaar all his lightweight humanity. Thanks to Gabai, Jafaar is at once himself, a poor creature all the others are against but who never despairs and always tries to get by, and a funny and dignified representative of all those who suffer on this planet and struggle for survival.

Sylvain Estibal, on his part, proves a good filmmaker, and he manages to reproduce the atmosphere prevailing in Gaza with faithful fidelity, a fidelity all the more remarkable as the film was , for obvious reasons, not shot on the spot. This is Malta, not Gaza, but you would never realize it if you were not told in advance (sorry for letting the cat out of the bag!). The comic episodes follow at a good pace except at the very end, as where the momentum (along with the pleasure of the viewer) diminishes a little. Too bad the writer-director did not find as brilliant a conclusion to this excellent cruel tale as its introduction and development.

But this is only a slight disappointment. All in all, "Le cochon de Gaza" is a superior comedy with an edge. Don't overlook this good example of intelligent entertainment. And to the question: "How can one be Palestinian... and survive?", Sylvain Estibal's answer is invigorating: "Yes, one can". For, where there is life there is hope. Everywhere and in the worst conditions.

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