Summer Film Series: Tel Aviv is Burning

7:00pm, Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Whittier Theatre
Tel Aviv is Burning
Directed by Sameh Zoabi
Written by Dan Kleinman & Sameh Zoabi

Salem (Kais Nashef) is a Palestinian from East Jerusalem, who is a low-level production assistant on the soap opera Tel Aviv on Fire in Ramallah. The show, which is popular with both Palestinians and Israelis, tells the story of a Palestinian spy who falls in love with an Israeli officer. Asi (Yaniv Biton), an officer at the checkpoint Salem must pass through every day to get to work, tells Salem that the show's military dialogue is unrealistic and writes his own script. Salem uses Asi's dialogue in the show, which impresses the producers and the star, Tala (Lubna Azabal), and leads to Salem being suddenly promoted to a fulltime screenwriter. There is only one problem. Salem can't write screenplays and must quickly learn.

To avoid getting fired, Salem makes a deal with Asi, who helps him write in exchange for fine Palestinian hummus, and a promise that the series' plot will end with a wedding. Salem convinces the producers to conclude the show's season with a wedding, but the Palestinian investors demand that the spy sets off a bomb at the wedding—killing herself, the Israeli officer, and his comrades.

Salem gets himself out of this bind by having Asi appear in the show as a character who breaks up the wedding before the bomb is detonated. This enables Tel Aviv on Fire to have a second season and Salem to remain employed. His continuing employment also resolves a secondary plotline where he is trying to win back his girlfriend, Maryam (Maisa Abd Alhady), who accuses him of being unreliable and unable to keep a job.

This is a Pay-What-You-Can event. Tickets are sold at the door on the day of the show. No advanced tickets are being sold for this event.
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