Israel

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 »

Samuel Maoz – Foxtrot (2017)

A troubled family must face the facts when something goes terribly wrong at their son’s desolate military post. Read More »

Uri Barbash – Spring 1941 (2007)

Successful doctor Artur Planck, his wife Clara and their two daughters are seeking shelter from the Nazis storming Poland. They find a safe house in the farm of Emilia, their local grocer who is all alone after her husband fought for his country and never returned. Amidst the horrors of the war that surrounds them, an impossible love triangle erupts as Emelia uncontrollably falls in love with Artur. Such a fragile arrangement is sustained by love – or is it just the will to survive? The answer to that question may not even be made known to those who make it out alive. Read More »

Eyal Sivan – Jaffa, the Orange’s Clockwork (2009)

Synopsis:
A journey from the harbor town of Jaffa to the Jaffa orange, a fruit through which the Israeli filmmaker examines the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Review:
Despite certain limitations, Jaffa, the Orange’s Clockwork, a feature-length documentary by Israeli-born filmmaker Eyal Sivan, has a good deal to recommend it, particularly in light of events now unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa. Read More »