by Vanessa ROUSSELOT

54 minutes, 2010

Production : éO Productions / France

Can laughter stand up to any tragedy? If yes, how? Very early on Vanessa Rousselot, ayoung French director, had the intuition that laughter has no frontiers. In 2005 she travelled across Palestine studying Palestinians’ sense of humour. Her method is simple: ask each new person you meet “Do you know a Palestinian joke?” The first answer unsettles: “Our whole situation is a joke”. Then tongues are loosened, humour rises to the surface, jokes abound…. The Palestinians’ favourite targets? The people of Hebron (like jokes about the Irish in Britain) and of course the Israelis. “Joking Apart” is a moving take on the forces of survival at the heart of a conflict. We discover a people’s humour, but also their infinite tenderness.

Vanessa ROUSSELOT, studied the languages and history of the Arab world then spent a year on the West Bank continuing her studies in Arabic. She is co-author and actor in a comic double-act “Duo des pâquerettes”, and has made current affairs films for television. “Joking Apart” is her first film.