Ave Maria

Watch Ave Maria

"Rules are for breaking!"
  • 2015
  • 14 min
  • 6.5  (1,344)

Ave Maria is a short comedy-drama film released in 2015 that takes place in the West Bank of Palestine. Directed by Basil Khalil and co-written by Khalil and Daniel Yáñez Khalil, the movie tells the story of five nuns and the inhabitants of a nearby Jewish settler community who must work together to resolve a critical problem that arises.

The movie begins with a car accident where three young Jewish settlers accidentally damage the statue of the Virgin Mary outside the convent of a group of nuns. Due to the Sabbath laws prohibiting them from driving, the settlers cannot call for assistance or fix the statue themselves. Meanwhile, the nuns, who have taken a vow of silence, cannot speak to the settlers.

The settlers have to seek out help from the nuns, which leads them to a convent completely unfamiliar to them. When they make their request known to the nuns, they realize the situation and become stuck in an uncommon conflict situation. The Palestinian nuns allow them to use the telephone, however, but they still can't speak anything more than written notes.

The nuns are determined to adhere strictly to their vows of silence but want to help the settlers get back on the road. They devise a plan and write the directions on a piece of paper, and one of them slowly and silently gestures to the settlers to follow her movements. This gesture underscores the physical comedy in the situation, as the settlers, who have never been exposed to sign language, misinterpret the nun's actions and interpret them as though the nuns were communicating in a similar fashion. Eventually, it becomes clear that the two groups must work together, despite their religious and cultural differences, to find a solution.

As the plot progresses, the nuns try to resist the temptation to break their vows of silence and are helped by unexpected circumstances. Meanwhile, the Jewish settlers begin to understand and appreciate the diversity of the community around them. They learn to look beyond each other's beliefs and foster a new found understanding that leads to a blossoming friendship.

The humor in the film comes out of the characters' various attempts to communicate: the nuns' silent gestures; the settlers' reliance on written notes; and the physicality of their interactions. It's a comedy about a situation that involves several cultures that are trying to understand one another, and it's effective in its satire and in its message.

The movie's cinematography is impressive, with beautiful shots of the Palestinian countryside, mixed with plenty of humor in how its various groups interact. The story, while simple, is well written and the dialogue is very effective.

Despite the reality and ever- present conflict of the political situation in the region, the movie emphasizes the commonalities of the diverse cultures and the importance of creating unique alliances.

Overall, the movie is a warm, funny, and engaging reminder that even in situations of conflict, it is possible for people of different backgrounds and beliefs to come together and create something positive. Ave Maria is an intriguing portrayal of a unique intersection of cultures, with the message that any problem can be resolved if there's a mutual effort to come to a resolution.

Ave Maria is a 2015 comedy with a runtime of 14 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5.

Ave Maria
Where to Watch Ave Maria
Ave Maria is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Netflix and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Ave Maria for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    14 min
  • IMDB Rating
    6.5  (1,344)