Under the Same Sun: Palm Springs Review

Israeli-Palestinian director Sameh Zoabi’s second fiction feature stars Ali Suliman and Yossi Marshek.

Originally published in The Hollywood Report – Jan. 16, 2014

By Boyd van Hoeij

PALM SPRINGS — Solar energy is the unlikely motor for peace in the Middle East in Under the Same Sun, from Palestinian-Israeli director Sameh Zoabi (Man Without a Cell Phone).

The film portrays the problems of two savvy businessmen, one Palestinian and the other from Israel, who would like to set up a joint venture that would provide green energy for Palestinians in the West Bank. The improbable but not impossible scenario becomes increasingly utopian, however, as the film barrels ahead, though along the way Zoabi does illuminate many of the region’s problems as well as opportunities. Search for Common Ground, a conflict resolution NGO, supported the making of the film, was which broadcast simultaneously in Israel and Palestine.

Under the Same Sun recently also played the Palm Springs fest and other festivals should welcome this film with open arms, while niche distributors, especially those looking for politically engaged content, should also take note.

Israeli Shaul (Yossi Marshak) meets Palestinian Nizar (Ali Suliman) at a conference on green energy in Marseilles, France, and the duo see a business opportunity when they realize that providing the West Bank with solar energy would make the Palestinians much less dependent on their sole source of electricity: Israel.

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