Israel

Yigal Bursztyn – Etsba Elohim AKA Out of the Blue (2008)

This is a little like an extended but half-serious variation on the “Uptown Girl” song video where the working-class guy meets the beautiful model from the billboard. But a few more people are involved. Here, the guy is married and his daughter has a crush on the weatherman. The weatherman wants to marry the cosmetics queen from the billboards. The cosmetics queen kind of likes the guy’s sidekick. The sidekick kind of likes the guy’s daughter, although she’s in high school and the age difference would raise anyone’s eyebrows. The movie is a nice character study about accepting or denying who we really are and what we really want. It’s missing an anchor character in the middle with whom the audience could identify, but the eccentrics are obviously what interested the filmmakers. Real-life cosmetics queen Pnina Rosenblum was a good enough sport to allow her own home to be used as the home of the fictional character based on herself. Read More »

Yair Hochner – Yeladim Tovim AKA Good Boys (2005)

17-year-old Meni wears only the most fashionable clothes, interested in music, loves the cinema and works as a rent boy. He had a baby from Mika, a young drug addict prostitute. He has an adoptive mother who is also a trans-gender prostitute and clients that contact him on his cell-phone. One night he meets Tal, also a hustler and they decide to spend the night together. During that night their lives get a new meaning, but can the little hope change the life they are used to from early age? In the morning they decide to meet later at the club. Until the awaited meeting, both of them will have to deal with their weary routine of clients, marginalised people and unexpected events. Read More »

Dror Zahavi – Sof Shavua B’Tel Aviv AKA For My Father (2008)

A suicide bomber becomes dependent on the kindness of strangers when his explosives won’t detonate, giving him time to meet some of the people he’s targeting. Read More »

Scandar Copti & Yaron Shani – Ajami (2009)

Synopsis:
Ajami is an area of Jaffa where Arabs, Palestinians, Jews and Christians try to live together in an atmosphere that is -to say the least – electric. Omar, an Israeli Arab, struggles to save his family from elimination by a gang of extortionists. He also courts a beautiful Christian girl, Hadir, but marrying her is far from obvious. Malek, an illegal Palestinian worker, tries to collect enough money to pay for his mother’s operation. Dando, an Israeli cop, does his utmost to trace his missing brother who may have been killed by Palestinians. Binj, Malek and Omar’s Arab friend, suffers from being rejected by other members of his community for mixing with an Israeli girl. All of them will meet violence, most of the time … with violence. Read More »

Michal Aviad – Lo roim alaich AKA Invisible (2011)

Over twenty years after Lily and Nira were raped by the same serial rapist, an unexpected encounter brings them together. Single mother Nira, a reserved television editor, comes across charismatic Lily, a left-wing activist who is helping Palestinians harvest their olives. So intense is the chance meeting, that Nira finds herself digging into her past, stirring up memories, and trying to bridge the gap between the person she once was and the person she has become. Read More »

Nadav Lapid – Ha-shoter AKA Policeman (2011)

A boldly conceived and bracingly told political drama, Policeman (Hashoter) possesses a special contemporary pertinence in the wake of the recent massive protests relating to the vast class and economic disparities in Israel. This intensely physical first full-length feature from writer-director Nadav Lapid, whose 50-minute Emil’s Girlfriend showed at Cannes in 2006, divides its attention between an elite anti-terrorist police unit and a small cell of young upper-class revolutionaries whose slogans sound oh-so 1968. The winner of three awards (best first or second work, screenplay and cinematography) at the Jerusalem Film Festival and recipient of a special jury prize at Locarno, the highly charged film should travel far on the festival circuit and attract distributor interest in numerous Western territories. Read More »

Michal Aviad – Isha Ovedet AKA Working Woman (2018)

Quote:
Working Woman is a beautifully performed drama about the everyday struggles of being female in the workplace. Orna (Liron Ben Shlush) is the mother of three young children whose husband is struggling to start his own restaurant. To help support her family Orna lands a job with a former army superior, Benny (Menashe Noy), who is now a successful real estate developer. While Orna embraces her new position and tries to balance its demands with her home life, she begins to experience escalating sexual harassment from her boss. Her rapid rise through the ranks and her increasing financial success seem to parallel a pattern of predatory behavior which ultimately brings her career and marital relationship to the brink. This timely and devastating story is expertly told by long time feminist filmmaker Michal Aviad. Read More »