Thursday, March 24, 2011

Intellectual Chic: Rula Jebreal’s Alaïa Obsession

Attending the Miral premier at the 67th Venice Film Festival, September 2, 2010.

This month marked the United States premier of Julian Schnabel’s film Miral, based on an autobiographical novel by Palestinian author and journalist Rula Jebreal. The film, named after Jebreal’s daughter, revolves around the author’s childhood in East Jerusalem and has attracted considerable praise (and equal criticism) for its personal portrayal of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.

Yet looking closely at the movies’ credits reveals a cosmopolitan cast of characters representing diverse faiths, nationalities and backgrounds. With its Jewish director, Muslim script writer and Indian leading actress, Miral is less about pushing ideology as it is about creating a platform for dialogue through one young woman’s experiences. That the United Nations General Assembly served as the venue for the US premier, (attracting an international crowd of cultural luminaries), is one indication that this is no ordinary film.

For the past year Jebreal has found herself attending film festivals around the globe to promote Miral; grabbing the fashion world’s attention for regularly showing up at events wearing her favorite designer, Azzedine Alaïa. The Tunisian Paris-based designer has long enjoyed a cult-like following amongst fashion insiders, for his expert way of cutting a dress to flatter a woman’s curves. “If I could buy a company, I would buy Alaïa,” admitted Jebreal during a recent interview. Fitting praise for a designer, who is known for enhancing a woman’s confidence and allure the moment she dons his clothes.

Left: With Miral’s director Julian Schnabel at MOMA New York, April 13, 2010; Right: Rula Jebreal captured by Annie Leibovitz in Vogue, November 2010.

Left: Attending the “Desert Flower” New York Screening at MOMA, September 9, 2010; Right: Arriving at the Miral premiere held at the United Nations Headquarters, March 14, 2011.

Left: Miral Star Frieda Pinto and Rula Jebreal during the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival; Right: Rula Jebreal, Julien Schnable and actress Freida Pinto attending the 18th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival, October 9, 2010.

Rula Jebreal during the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival; Right: at the 67th Venice Film Festival, September 3, 2010.

Left: With Miral star Hiam Abbass arriving at the Excelsior Hotel during the 67th Venice Film Festival; Right: Rula Jebreal & daughter Miral attending the screening of "Miral" during the 18th Annual Hamptons Film Festival on October 8, 2010.

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