“It Must Be Heaven” Film Analysis

The first scene in this movie happens inside a restaurant and features both women and men in the entertainment joint. The society shown in the movie is a male-dominated one where men call the shots and women act at the mercy of their male counterparts. Men are free to drink alcohol but must control if women should drink or not. In the tenth scene, there is a woman trying to close her eyes as she is being arrested for taking part in the anti-Israeli occupation demonstrations.

The venue for the first scene is inside a church where the faithful is chanting Christian hymns presided over a priest. The majestic manner by which the priest carries himself, however, seems not to be Godly as he gets rejected from entering an imaginary door by the Lord. He only manages to enter after removing his attire but receives thorough beatings soon after. Another religious sign is the cross that dots the cemetery and signifies the presence of Christianity (Petiwala, 2020). The city is also awash with paintings that denote the presence of the Christian religion.

The stealing and exploitation that happens in the Garden in scene three is a perfect exemplification of the political realities of Palestine. When a man is caught flinching lemons from his neighbor’s farm, he defends himself by claiming that he knocked on the door but it was not opened. It shows that there is no regard for other people’s properties in Palestine. The next scene takes place in the streets and involves an adult and youthful Palestinians armed with guns and sticks (Suleiman, It Must Be Heaven, 2019). A young man has been attacked and is bleeding profusely. This is the situation in the standoffs that happen between the two warring nations.

Scene seven also happens in the streets but this one involves an armed man, a snake, and an eagle. The man narrates the significance of the snake and the eagle. Whereas the snake represents the occupation of the Palestinian land by the Israelis, the eagle is the treachery that was used to kill the resistance aimed at disrupting the occupation. The Palestine system is today run as a capitalist state, thanks to the treachery of the Israelis (Labidi I. B., 2019). In the eighth scene, there are paintings of the picture of Mary, the mother Jesus, and African music could be heard from the background in the city. There is the religious element that unifies the protestors who also wish to associate their struggles to the African resistance against colonialism, particularly the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.

The next scene showcases a woman traveling across the fields in her traditional dress. The land in question fully belongs to the Palestinian owing to the identity of olive trees. However, it is now occupied by the Israelis leaving the real owners with much disappointment (Labidi I. B., 2020). The ugliness of the political scenes in Palestine is further demonstrated by the arrest and subsequent torture of the woman for trespass. Indeed, this is the price she had to pay for playing her role in resisting the occupation. In the twelfth scene, a bird appears to represent the situation of Palestine’s freedom. When an exhausted and worn-out bird appears from nowhere, it is adopted and fed by a man named Solomon. However, as soon as the bird regains its strength, it causes much inconvenience to the owner. The bird represents Palestine and its hunger for freedom. However, once other countries begin to embrace it, they are confronted by other baggage that leads them to cut ties with the country.

The next scene is set in the city of New York and features a taxi man who continuously vows that he is a Palestinian. He is so much concerned about the future of his homeland that he pays homage to fortune tellers to help him visualize what lies ahead for his country. Surprisingly, the fortune teller does not have a precise answer to this question. As if this is not enough, a girl carrying the Palestinian flag is chased away along the streets by the New York police. Moreover, a forum organized to discuss Palestinian issues is given a very cold shoulder. From these happenings, it is apparent that the United States has no regard for the plight of Palestinians. If anything, it has never hidden its support for the Israeli occupation.

The film ends with an episode set in a bar back in Palestine. After his failed trip to the United States, Solomon gets back home and begins to reflect on what it really means to be a Palestinian. At his corner in the bar, he is shocked by the strange scenes he is seeing of aggressive dance moves and young people making out publicly. Some of them are gays who do not care who sees them. Although the song decries the miserable situation Arabs go through, people dance to it as if they do not understand its meaning. This leaves Solomon to question the essence of his nationality as an Arab.


Labidi, I. B. (2019). Undoing stereotypical representations in Arab and Muslim cinemas: Challenges, interruptions, and possibilities. Arab Media & Society, 27, 41-55.

Labidi, I. B. (2020). Representation and emancipation: Cinema of the oppressed. International Journal of Cultural Studies.

Petiwala, A. (2020). Arab cinema travels: Transnational Syria, Palestine, Dubai and beyond. Arab Studies Journal, 28(1), 127-131.

Suleiman, E. (2019). It Must Be Heaven [Film]. Rectangle Productions.