This deceptively quiet film presents a portrait of Aljafaris family in Ramleh and Jaffa that hovers between documentary and cinematic memoir, guided by a nimble camera moving calmly but ceaselessly around the rooms of homes inhabited, damaged and ruined. The title refers to the roof missing from the house where Aljafaris family resettled in 1948, a home unfinished, an incomplete construction project. The use of stillness and off-screen space creates a sense of suspension, of time spent waiting, of aftermath, of lives lived elsewhere. Aljafaris striking use of his cast, his family, reveals the influence of Bressons use of nonprofessional actors as models whose performances emanate from their presence, not from acting.
- David Pendleton, Harvard Film Archive 2010.
“The Roof is as much a stylistic as a political manifesto that reveals not so much the meaning of an absent roof, but the architecture of identity, place, and present pasts." -Curator and critic, Jean-Pierre Rehm
" A work at once explicitly personal, coolly contemplative, and full of coruscating protest—is to recognize a marvelously intuitive artist and the momentum of a larger cinematic movement at the same time. " -SF360, San Francisco Film Society