MAYOR is a real-life political saga following Musa Hadid, the Christian mayor of Ramallah, during his second term in office. His immediate goals: repave the sidewalks, attract more tourism, and plan the city's Christmas celebrations. His ultimate mission: to end the occupation of Palestine. Rich with detailed observation and a surprising amount of humor, MAYOR offers a portrait of dignity amidst the madness and absurdity of endless occupation while posing a question: how do you run a city when you don't have a country?
Director David Osit is available for discussions and Q&As upon request.
"Highly recommended. Mayor would be well-suited for courses in international affairs, local governance, and Middle Eastern studies. It could even be used in psychology classes to discuss historical trauma. It is an observational film where you come to your own conclusions and people would benefit by seeing what they go through every day." - Educational Media Reviews Online
Commentary by Director David Osit
- "The best new film about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a dark comedy about Ramallah’s Mayor... offers a striking new perspective on that struggle, with a personal on-the-ground quality matched by grand tonal ambitions that makes it the best of its subgenre. "
- "Impressive. Engrossing. MAYOR is a study in politics both micro and macro, showing what happens when the two come fatefully crashing together."
- "Astonishing. Gripping and surprisingly witty... Osit brings a respectful approach that admirably never registers as observations of a patronizing Westerner."
- "CRITIC'S PICK. Surprisingly funny. Hadid comes across as a cleareyed, forthright leader. But Mayor also stands out because Osit has thought it through in cinematic terms."
- "MAYOR is an astounding and enthralling film... filled with a delicate blend of dark humour and unflinching honesty."
- "... one of my favorites of the year, hands-down — was David Osit’s hilarious and moving documentary Mayor."
- "Subtly electrifying... deeply affecting. A movie full of vitalising, delicate observations."
- "Brilliant. Like a lost season of "Veep"... amuses and devastates in equal measure."
- "Offers more absurd moments than Samuel Beckett could have ever worked up."
- "MAYOR is essential viewing about the lines between small and grand acts of resistance."
- "I loved this film. I loved everything about it from its craft, to its subject to all the thematic threads. I love that this is a film that works on many different levels, that it entertains like a drama and makes you think. This is a magnificent film."
- "One of the Top 20 films of 2020. ...thrilling and perceptive. Essential viewing...."
- "Outstanding...Made with irony, subtlety, and style, “Mayor” is a bittersweet lesson in civic and international politics."
- "Far from a message movie, David Osit’s sensitive documentary is a captivating, enlightening, and ultimately terrifying look at how to survive day by day when the fight for liberation can seem everlasting."
- "“Mayor” proves a unique, involving and edifying experience."
- "...the film is filled with a surprising amount of good humor.... At times, Mayor almost feels like a very dark version of Parks and Recreation."
- "... a fascinating portrait of what city politics look like under extreme conditions. "
- "... the director contrasts sometimes dryly funny day-to-day bureaucratic machinations with extraordinary events to give viewers a weighty sense of the existential. "
- "Easily one of the best documentaries of the year, Mayor straddles political commentary, verite reportage, poetry and absurdism with considerable aplomb. "
- "Mayor proves to be a remarkable achievement. Shown through the eyes of Ramallah's leader, preconceived notions about the region are undone. It's a powerful portrait of a people left in its place."
- "One of the Best Films of 2020"
- "One of the 25 Best Documentaries of 2020. Osit elegantly assembles a portrait of leadership—confident, caring and above all committed to the people—that feels genuinely alien to the American experience today."
Awards & Recognition
Grand Jury Award
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Zurich Film Festival
International Dox Award
True/False Film Festival
Melbourne Int'l. Film Festival
Hamburg Film Festival
New Zealand Int'l. Film Festival
Woods Hole Film Festival
San Francisco Int'l. Film Festival
Warsaw Film Festival
Berlin Jewish Film Festival
Philadelphia Film Festival