During the 1990 World Cup, two young Palestinian boys are looking for “Maradona’s legs”; the last missing sticker that they need in order to complete their world cup album and win a free Atari. Original Title Ijrain Maradona Year of production 2019 Length 23min Country Germany/Palestine Shooting Format 2K Aspect Ratio2,35:1 Sound Dolby 5.1 DialogueArabic DirectorFiras Khoury Producers Zorana Musikic, May Odeh Production schaf oder scharf film, Odeh Films Writer Firas Khoury Cinematographer Christian Marohl Editors Marwen El-Hechkel, Heike Parplies Art Director Rabia Salfiti Sound Recordist Ibrahim Zaher Sound Designer Jan Cziharz Music Faraj Suleiman CastFaris Abbas, Ayoub Abu Hamad, Ali Suliman
Festival selections Palm Springs International ShortFest 2019, USA - World Premiere Website Facebook schaf oder scharf film Director's Statement It is safe to say that according to our film history, we are summed up as the “occupied people”, as if we have no other stories beyond this notion. Despite my strong faith in cinema as a tool of resistance, and its ability to express and deliver impactful messages on the masses, I see the importance in continuing the narration of our personal stories, which serves as the best proof of the continuation of our existence as a nation. The history of people is merely a collection of their stories. One of the reasons our cinema directly concentrates on the occupation topic is the demand/expectation from European sponsors (the central funders for Arab independent films). The critical view towards our current cinema could suggest that we will disappear - our stories will disappear - when the occupation does. This brings grief to my heart. In my previous short film “Yellow Mums”, I recounted my story as a Palestinian Christian child during Easter in my village, Galilee. And here, I recount my story as a Palestinian child during the FIFA World Cup tournament. I do not have any deeper or truer reason to why I want to shoot this short film, other than the fact that I simply feel that is my duty to tell this story. Because despite of being a personal story “Maradona’s Legs” cannot be isolated from Palestine’s political reality; the society portrayed is one that encourages other nations, one who raises other nations’ flags who are competing in the World Cup; it is a society that has no country and is prohibited from raising its own national flag. I aspire to tell the story that occurred to me and my brother in our childhood during the World Cup. Back then, our inspirations as children were no different than those of any child in the world - which is for their team to win. Our ambition was to merely fill the “World Cup album” until the last image. In the script, I used sophisticated vocabulary, such as “fulfillment”, “despair”, “destruction”, “depression” and “pain” to describe the children’s feelings. I deliberately exaggerated in order to remain loyal to my emotions as a child and the way I recall them. Brazil’s victory and the World Cup album would have distinguished between me being a happy or a sad child at that time; and that is what I will portray in the film. When Brazil loses, Rafat will be “destroyed”— there is no other way to describe it. There is no other way to film it. Being a Palestinian Israeli - I belong to the group Palestinians who stayed in their lands after the creation of the state of Israel - does not only add a second layer to my films - this situation makes daily reality full of contradictions. In my films I discuss the situation of the Palestinian community inside Israel. “Maradona’s Legs” takes place during the nineties, the time when the first Palestinian uprising took place – and is wrapped in a coming of age story, seen through the innocent eyes of two little boys.