‘Dégradé’ is a black comedy by Palestinian twin brothers Arab and Tarzan Nasser.
Just like its authors, the film is banned in Gaza, and was shot in neighbouring Jordan. It takes place in a beauty salon in Gaza, where thirteen women find themselves trapped inside as gunfight erupts in the street. The battle is over a lion – the story is based on true events, when a lion was kidnapped from a zoo in Gaza a decade ago.
Far from all the cliches about war in the Middle East, the film transcends the male-dominated culture and examines the daily lives of ordinary Palestinian women.
As violence intensifies outside, tension builds inside the stifling salon where Gaza’s intermittent power supply leaves the women without electricity.
The absurdity of the situation reflects that of a country held hostage by its violent, internecine history.
A play on words referring both to a hair style and the deteriorating situation in Gaza, ‘Dégradé’ is not without its flaws but offers such a refreshing take on the Middle Eastern conflict that you have to forgive the Nasser brothers for its weak moments.