Special Screening

Stronger Than Fiction 2021 Documentary Series: Mayor

Friday, May 28 at 7:00PM

A look at the life of Musa Hadid, the charismatic mayor of Palestinian city Ramallah, who aspires to lead the city into the future.

“Local governance is the most beautiful field of work in our country…”

Whether he's briefing the nine abseiling Santas for a Christmas parade, consulting with disgruntled shepherds about drainage problems in their pastures, or trying to cut through marketing jargon in city branding meetings, Mayor Musa Hadid is devoted to improving public life in the city of Ramallah, and his constituents love him for it. However, local governance in Palestine comes with a set of international challenges that most public servants don't come up against.

While Mayor Hadid has control over selecting park benches, door handles and the hotly-contested city slogan, major works - like a desperately needed sewage plant - require Israeli approval which is repeatedly denied. Director David Osit has crafted a gently ironic portrait of Ramallah and its mayor as he responds to the frustrations of governing an occupied city.

Despite Musa's endless optimism and patience, it's an impossible situation with underlying tensions constantly ready to boil over. As Ramallah is plunged into fresh chaos in the wake of Trump’s embassy move, the mayor's unique perspective pushes him to become an important voice in the international debate. Much like Musa himself, this darkly humorous, thoroughly charming film has an unshakeable dignity at its core.

“An engaging portrait of the kind of impassioned and dedicated politician who seems in short supply right now…” - The Guardian