The Idol (Ya Tayr El Tayer) by Hany Abu-Assad (2015, 95 min.). In Arabic with English subtitles.

Mohammed, a young boy in Gaza, and his sister Nour play music and football, and dare to dream big. He sings at weddings and drives a taxi to pay for his university studies. Even as the siege around Gaza intensifies, Mohammed knows he has a rare gift—his voice. Watching TV one evening, Mohammed learns that auditions for Arab Idol, the American Idol of the Arab world, are taking place in Cairo. He decides to make the dangerous journey across the closed border to audition.

This uplifting drama by two-time Academy Award-nominated director Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now, Omar), is based on the incredible true story of the Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf, the 22-year-old from Gaza who won the hearts of an entire region in 2013. The Idol is Palestine’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film in the upcoming Oscar race.

Watch the trailer


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