‘Mayor’ offers a compelling cinematic event living in the hip-pocket of Musa Hadid, as he attempts to manage his daily responsibilities in a ‘city without a country.’ Director David Osit in a post movie Q & A said his intention was a ‘small story’ focussing on the Mayor’s struggle in the historic Christian City of Ramallah, West Bank, Palestine. But often, less is more, and this is the case for ‘Mayor’ as it adds to the bigger story - the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Black comedy and unnerving suspense kept me riveted to the screen as Osit captures conversations about the grinding oppression and humiliating restrictions imposed by the ‘occupying Israelis.’
This raw reality conveys an edginess and unpredictability, and with the unusual soundtracks, creates a captivating experience.
Careful editing produces powerful symbols, adding to the dark humour and terror.
My top takeaway - Musa is asked if he is prepared to come to the table and commence dialogue to end the conflict. His response - “I have my dignity. Israel treats us with disrespect. When a sixteen-year old Israeli with a gun forces me to strip naked … Palestinians need to be treated with respect … we have our dignity.”