DGA audiences witnessed an ironic clash between New World technology and Old World cultures when the Special Projects Committee's Global Cinema Series screened Director Sameh Zoabi’s debut feature Man Without a Cell Phone.
In Zoabi’s comedic drama, a 20-something Muslim slacker named Jawdat just wants to have fun and find love while chatting up several women via his cell phone much to the chagrin of his olive farming curmudgeonly father Salem. Salem suspects a newly installed Israeli cell phone tower is irradiating the villagers and causing cancer and is determined to drag the whole community into a fight to bring it down, including his son who depends on that tower to communicate with girls in the outside world. As Salem’s schemes disrupt more than just his precious cell phone reception, Jawdat finds his life even further complicated when his wireless flirting with girls in the West Bank catches the attention of the Israeli security authorities.
Following an introduction by Global Cinema Chair Victoria Hochberg, Zoabi sat down with DGA Special Projects Committee Chair Jeremy Kagan for a discussion about his film and how to use comedy as a tool for political and social commentary after the October 10, 2012 screening in the DGA Theater in Los Angeles. Director Philip Haas served as moderator of the discussion with Zoabi following the April 5, 2013 screening at the DGA Theater in New York.