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Mouna Hawa, Sana Jammelieh, and Shaden Kanboura play three Palestinian women in Tel Aviv in the film In Between.

3 out of 4 stars

In Between
Written by
Maysaloun Hamoud
Directed by
Maysaloun Hamoud
Mouna Hawa and Sana Jammelieh
Israel, France
Hebrew, Arabic

Palestinian-Israeli director Maysaloun Hamoud's debut feature film, In Between, features three female flatmates who live, study and work in Tel Aviv. Two are free-spirited party girls – Laila (Mouna Hawa), a lawyer, and Salma (Sana Jammelieh), a struggling DJ. Nour, the good Muslim girl, is a computer-science major engaged to be married soon to a so-called pious traditionalist. Dynamics suggest the roommates will clash. Instead, they form an unbreakable bond as each woman tries to stand up against the double standards and humiliations thrust upon them by their Muslim faith and families.

The three leads are exceptional at playing strong, complicated women who are constantly fighting to find a way around the great divide between the old and the new. Hamoud pulls no punches in how she portrays the painful sacrifices many modern Palestinian women make for a modicum of independence and self-respect. While the #MeToo movement is doing much to expose systemic sexism and harassment against women, In Between highlights how difficult it will be to make substantive change in the world's most patriarchal societies.

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