Israel

Yuval Adler – Bethlehem (2013)

Synopsis:
Tells the story of the complex relationship between an Israeli Secret Service officer and his teenage Palestinian informant. Shuttling back and forth between conflicting points of view, the film is a raw portrayal of characters torn apart by competing loyalties and impossible moral dilemmas, giving an unparalleled glimpse into the dark and fascinating world of human intelligence. Read More »

Boaz Davidson – Shablool aka Snail (1971) (DVD)

A collaboration from popular Israeli composers and rockers Arik Einstein and Shalom Hanoch, this film is a campy, offbeat romp along the lines of the Beatles’ films. Part musical, part mockumentary, the film centers on the making of a great rock album titled “Shablool.” Einstein and Hanoch star in multiple roles in their cinematic creation, which reflects the energy of Israel’s popular music scene in the 1960s. The great Uri Zohar also appears in the film’s highlight as a yiddish speaking nutcase vagabond/karate teacher. Read More »

Judd Ne’eman – Ha-Simla AKA The Dress (1969)

Three short stories of life in Tel Aviv; A girl meets a boy in a library and has to decide what to do next; A young husband comes home to meet his wife’s boyfriend; A young clerk opens a letter and finds the photograph of an unknown young girl who he then tries to locate. Read More »

Yossi Madmoni & David Ofek – Ha-Mangalistim AKA The Barbecue People [+Extras] (2003)

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A family of Iraqi-Israelis, each with his or her own weaknesses and determination, gathers for an Independence Day picnic. Their background stories are presented, reaching back as little as a few days or as far back as the War of Independence and the old country before that, and interlocking in ways that even they never realize. (IMDb) Read More »

David Greenberg – Iris (1968)

A man pretends to be married to his ex-wife for the sake of his mother’s sanity. But when he finds love with his secretary, and later a 17-year-old, he ends up lost in confusion.

One of the better films that belongs to the “New Sensitivity” movement which arouse in Israel during the late 60’s till the mid-70’s, and was influenced by the French New Wave. Read More »

Eran Riklis – Ha-Kala Ha-Surit AKA The Syrian Bride (2004)

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In Majdal Shams, the largest Druze village in Golan Heights on the Israeli-Syrian border, the Druze bride Mona is engaged to get married with Tallel, a television comedian that works in the Revolution Studios in Damascus, Syria. They have never met each other because of the occupation of the area by Israel since 1967; when Mona moves to Syria, she will lose her undefined nationality and will never be allowed to return home. Mona’s father Hammed is a political activist pro-Syria that is on probation by the Israeli government. His older son Hatten married a Russian woman eight years ago and was banished from Majdal Shams by the religious leaders and his father. His brother Marwan is a wolf trader that lives in Italy. His sister Amal has two teenager daughters and has the intention to join the university, but her marriage with Amin is in crisis. When the family gathers for Mona’s wedding, an insane bureaucracy jeopardizes the ceremony. Read More »

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 »