Actor, screenwriter, and director Elia Suleiman presents a handful of autobiographical short stories that offer a witty but thoughtful perspective on the place of Palestinians in Israel (and his own role in the nation) in this comedy drama. Inspired by the journals kept by Suleiman's father, the first episode takes place in 1948, as the Arab resistance movement begins to crumble, though Fuad Suleiman (Saleh Bakri) is determined to keep up the fight. By 1970, Fuad has lost his idealism and believes Palestine is destined to live in Israel's shadow, while his son Elia (Zuhair Abu Hanna) is being punished for calling the United States colonialists before the teacher. A few years later, Elia (Ayman Espanioli) has a brush with more powerful authorities, who attempt to toss him out of Israel on a minor offense. Finally, Elia (Elia Suleiman) returns home to look after his elderly mother (Samar Qudha Tanus) and discovers how little has changed, as many of his old friends have been warming the same barstools since he left. The Time That Remains is Suleiman's third film about Israel's relationship with Palestinians, following Chronicle of a Disappearance and Divine Intervention.
by Mark Deming synopsis