Chronicle of a Disappearance

Elia Suleiman, 1996, 88 min, Arabic Hebrew French English, Drama

“Bergman wrote an intelligent and precise screen play and dialogues which encompass within them whole worlds… he directed his film with a sure hand and produced a symphony of emotional power”
Yehuda Stavi
Yedioth Achronoth, July 25, 2002
“…Broken Wings was a surprising choice for this year’s Grand Prix… Broken Wings’ effectiveness lies in its deep, resigned feel…”
Naomi Tajitsu
The Daily Yomiuri
“…Exceptionally subtle and intelligent…”
Amy Taubin
Village Voice
“An elegant, serenely ironic, and accomplished first feature”
Village Voice
“The film is one the most beautiful and moving produced in Israel in recent years… with intelligence, warmth ,understanding and with a good deal of humor”
Uri Klein
Ha’aretz, July 25, 2002
“What a pleasure to discover a young talent, to see a wonderful and moving film, and walk out of the hall with eyes moist from emotion… a combination of tears, laughter and enjoyment”
Gidi Orsher
Army Radio Station, July 25, 2002

Best Film by a New Director
Luigi De Laurentiis Award – Venice Film Festival, 1996

ARTE Award
Nantes Three Continents Festival, 1996

Silver Montgolfiere
Nantes Three Continents Festival, 1996

New Director’s Showcase Special Jury Prize
Seattle International Film Festival, 1996

Best Film
Israeli Critics’ Choice, 1996


In His Debut film, Palestinian director and actor Elia Suleiman, stars along with his family members. Suleiman plays himself returning to Israel and the West Bank after a long absence. The movie deals with the restlessness and uncertainly of being a stateless Palestinian.

Chronicle of a Disappearance is a journey in search of what it means to be Palestinian. It is a compilation of possible truths, transgressing genres and blending fact with fiction to explore the intertwined boundaries of story-telling, history and autobiography.

The characters wander through a social and political labyrinth in an attempt to break free from their ghettoized existence. Suleiman expresses the rift between his native birthplace and himself. He moves between being a character and being an observer, a mediator and a storyteller without a story.



Elia Suleiman


  • Elia Suleiman – Himself
  • Nazira Suleiman – Mother
  • Fuad Suleiman – Father
  • Ula Tabari – Adan
  • Jamel Daher – The owner of the Holyland
  • Juliet Mazzawi – The aunt
  • Fawaz Eilemi – Abu Adnan
  • Leonid Alexeenko – Priest
  • Iaha Mouhamad – The writer


  • Elia Suleiman – Director
  • Assaf Amir, Elia Suleiman – Producers
  • Dhat Productions, Norma Productions –Production Company
  • Elia Suleiman – Scriptwriter
  • Marc-Andre Batigne – Director of Photography
  • Anna Ruiz – Editor
  • Samir Srouji, Hans Ter Elst – Art Director
  • Mira Awad – Costume Design
  • Jean-Paul Mugel – Sound Recording
  • Stephane Brunclair – Sound Design
  • Ula Tabari – Casting
  • Michal Kano Amir, Mima Chermak – Makeup Artist
  • Harel Kalderon – 1st Assistant Director
  • Avi Levi – Line Producer

The film was produced with the support of