Interview with Holy Air’s Star, Writer, and Director Shady Srour

Sidebar imageBY DEAN MOSES

Spring Creek Sun (SCS): “Could you talk about the idea behind Holy Air?”

Shady Srour (SS): I was living in the holy land, Nazareth, where Jesus lived. But Nazareth is in a very difficult place—in between Israel and Palestine. There are a lot of problems there, including an identity crisis, hate, tension, and war. I didn’t see a future for my kids. I felt that I needed to sell air in order to live in a proud way, it’s an impossible mission. It’s more symbolic, but it’s expressing my situation, it’s my scene in Nazareth.

SCS: “The scene in which your character had a fight during a traffic jam really stole the show for me. Could you talk about the idea behind it and the process filming it?”

SS: “There are three scenes involving traffic in Nazareth. In the Arab city inside Israel, actually in almost every Arab city or village, there is a feeling that we are being suffocated because it so crowded with settlements all around us, so there is nowhere for us to go and expand. There is so much traffic and clutter to the point where people become irritated at one another over traffic situations. They project their anger on everybody else. So I tried to capture that in one traffic scene because I thought it would be a little absurd seeing that a guy would take out a sword and fight with another driver.”

SCS: “What does it mean to you to be at the Tribeca Film Festival showcasing your film here in New York?”

SS: “I feel that Tribeca is very artistic, and this film has an artistic side. I don’t know if it has the commercial side, but it tries to communicate with the audience. For me, it’s a venue where I can break through. I think we have the same ideology as Tribeca. I love that my film is being premiered at Tribeca.

Photo by Dean Moses