Sayed Kashua
Sayed Kashua is regarded as one of Israel’s most prominent Palestinian voices.

Sayed Kashua is a doctoral student on the international writers track in comparative literature in Arts & Sciences at Washington University.

A published novelist, screenwriter, and journalist, he is regarded as one of Israel’s most prominent Palestinian voices. The film “Let It Be Morning,” adapted from Kashua’s 2006 novel published by the same name, officially opened in St. Louis on February 17, 2023, at Landmark’s Plaza Frontenac Cinema. The internationally acclaimed film, directed by Eran Kolirin, premiered at the city’s Hi-Pointe Theatre several days earlier.

“As a Palestinian writer, it’s risky to work with an Israeli director,” Kashua said. “Some people say, ‘The occupier will never understand.’ But I appreciate Kolirin’s interpretation; the film is very sensitive and well-done.”

The film, which won Best Picture at the Israeli Academy Awards in 2021, follows a journalist who returns to his Palestinian village after working in Jerusalem for many years. One morning, he tries to commute to his job, only to discover that the Israeli military has blockaded all exits from the village.

Let It Be Morning

The film “Let It Be Morning” centers on the story of Sami, a Palestinian Israeli who thinks he’s made it, working at a tech company in Jerusalem, living a double life with his Jewish Israeli mistress. But when he heads to his family’s village for a wedding, he wakes up to find it encircled by Israeli soldiers and isolated from the world. The arbitrary blockade forces Sami to reflect on his marriage, his family and his place in a nation that treats Palestinian citizens as lesser than Jewish citizens. Access Leila Fadel’s interview with Palestinian Israeli actor Alex Bakri, who plays Sami, and director Eran Kolirin. Heard on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, February 3, 2023