The voices speaking in these films from my series on Toronto Film Fests have been Indigenous & European, Arab Christian, Jewish Arab, African from the North, South, East, West. The voices also include a deaf Korean-American artist whose first language was sign language in a home where two Korean speaking parents struggled to learn the English of their adopted country while attempting to learn sign so they could understand their daughter’s world.

The common thread that binds together all these films the politics of identity and how best to deal with the topic.

So how does one wrap up such a series? By making a recommendation as to how to spend a night out in the city! The Human Rights Watch Film Festival opening at TIFF last night and tonight’s screening, is by rising directorial talent Susan Youssef – Habibi.

The film’s full name is Habibi Rasak Kharban / Darling, something’s wrong with your head. It is an ancient love story from the Sufi parable Majnun Layla brought into present day and set in Gaza. From the perspective of two lovers we come into contact with their world and how religion and politics construct obstacles that stifle their freedom to love.

More information on Habibi.

More information on the Human Rights Watch Film Festival.