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The Roof
 
 

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THE ROOF


Directed by | Kamal Aljafari

Genre documentary  |  Length: 61mins  |  Year of production: 2006


Part essayistic meditation, part family portrait, The Roof is an eloquent, understated exploration of physical and psychic place developed via an account of filmmaker Kamal Aljafari’s family history. Returning to his parents’ and grandmother’s homes in Ramle and Jaffa, now part of Israel, Aljafari uses elegant cinematography, unhurried rhythms, and fragmented narratives to wonder how space, time, and history have been moulded by politics and institutionalized neglect.

The roof of the title is an absent one, on the unfinished house where Aljafari's family has lived since their resettlement in 1948. It functions as a place of waiting marked by constant deferral. Curator Jean Pierre Rehm has called the film “as much a stylistic as a political manifesto”, one that “reveals not so much the meaning of an absent roof, but the architecture of identity, place, and present pasts.”