“Love is a constant act of forgiveness”
I love biting into something, and expecting one thing and then your taste buds become enchanted because it’s totally opposite of what you expected… what is it even? You have to search to make recognition of the flavor…perhaps it’s one that you haven’t even yet tasted. This to me was “May in the Summer” you anticipate it’s going to be your standard boy meets girl love story… starting out with the Lead Actress and Director of the film Cherien Dabis flying to connect with her family in Jordan for her upcoming wedding… but from there, the movie takes on another life completely. It explores the dynamics of family… healing old wounds, communicating, forming understandings with each other… which perhaps is ultimately what love is all about… not even agreeing necessarily, but accepting each other and in doing so creating harmony.
The movie was filmed primarily in Amman Jordan, The Dead Sea, & Wadi Rum, the backdrop itself becomes a part of the story just in lending it’s natural beauty and majestic ambiance. The main characters flow at times in and out of speaking Arabic which for a moment you think may be frustrating, but you realize that it takes nothing away from your understanding of the film and it’s plot and ultimately lends to the authenticity of the characters. Cherien is actually from Jordan, and many scenes from this film were actually shot in her mother’s apartment in Amman.
I had the privilege of interviewing Hal Lehrman who was actually on site in Jordan for the filming working with Lead Actress and Director Cherien. Hal also worked with her throughout the year prior to filming which is clear as Cherien comes across completely authentically with beautiful technique, especially working side by side with other experienced actors/actresses such as Bill Pullman who plays her father, Alia Shawkat & Nadine Malouf who play her sisters, Hiam Abbass who plays her mother, and the entire cast who put out an authentic and fabulous performance, if I May say so myself.
Hal spoke of the experience itself as both powerful and overwhelming at times, for Cherien to be both Lead Actress and Director you can imagine with in itself is both intense and a lot to take on, there were several times during the creation process that she had to really dig down deep and find the power to push through, and the beauty is that you would never see that in the finished product which comes across with passion, ease, and polished. For me, that fortitude is something I can take and apply to situations in my own life, and perhaps you can too?
I won’t spoil the ending for those who have yet to view it, but I will say that it’s unconventional…there are several times in the plot where you think it’s going to unfold one way, and it surprises you completely with a deeper meaning, and multiple stories interwoven into the overall theme which to me was love, compassion, growth, family and most importantly acceptance…just for people and life as it is…the ability to continue to accept, transform and grow.
Check “May in the Summer” out for yourself on Netflix now.
by: Ashley Davene