This dark and charming comedy takes us within the prison walls in today’s Jordan. Construction worker Ahmad takes liberties with the money of others in order to earn a little extra along with his cousin. When his plans fail, Ahmad’s debts rack up and he’s charged with fraud. He’s forced to spend three months in jail. Once inside, he meets the affable scammer Ibrahim and others who’ve learned to use the corruption and injustice to their advantage. As he receives three meals a day, and feels his stress, duties, and concerns slipping away, he begins to wonder: maybe life behind prison walls offers greater freedom than the outside?
There’s a clear critique of society to be found between the lines in this film from Mahmoud al Massad, which is based on a true story from his own social circle. BLESSED BENEFIT is a dark but funny story about the underdog’s struggle to survive under the most challenging conditions.
Mahmoud al Massad (b. 1969) is a Jordanian filmmaker partly based in the Netherlands. He studied film and art at the Yarmouk University and has directed several shorts and documentaries, including RECYCLE, which screened at festivals such as Sundance, San Sebastian and Rotterdam. BLESSED BENEFIT is his first fiction feature.