#TIFF20 REVIEW: “Gaza Mon Amour” is a Charming Film About Finding Love at Any Age

Gotta love a film with a charming protagonist — and it gets no better than “Gaza Mon Amour”s Issa. At first he comes across as a grizzled 60-year-old, but at heart, he’s a funny, cool and romantic at heart. A fisherman by trade, one day he stumbles upon an ancient phallic statute of Apollo (the god of love for those who don’t know) while at sea and his life begins to change. The 60-year-old bachelor now has the courage and urge to get married. He confides in his sister, who tries to play matchmaker to his chagrin, but Issa already has someone in mind. He’s got his sights set on Siham, a woman who works in a women’s dress shop in the market.

In true almost romantic comedy fashion, Issa embarks on a mission to ask Siham to marry him, but it seems like life (and this statute) keeps getting in the way. Filled with earnest performances (especially Salim Daw as Issa), a certain vulnerability and a proposal scene that is just too cute, “Gaza Mon Amour” (the 2nd feature film by twin directors Tarzan and Arab Nasser) is a fun watch with a lot of heart and a little humor that gives viewers a peek into life on the Gaza strip — definitely worth your time.