” spends its first half hour as a bleak drama about distraught parents mourning their dead son, and then it becomes something entirely different. Israeli director Samuel Maoz
’s brilliant followup to his debut “Lebanon
,” which took place within the confines of a tank, deals with a very different kind of confinement — being imprisoned by an ambivalent world, and forced to deal with whatever random tragedies it chooses to dish out.
Yet despite its dreary overtones, Maoz pierces his milieu with flashes of perceptive satire, an animated interlude, and a touching, romantic finale, all of which adds up to a wonderfully unexpected hodgepodge of insights into intergenerational Israeli frustrations.
But the first act belies the depth in store. Starting out as a straightforward plunge into deeply tragic events, the movie begins with middle-aged couple Michael (the ever-reliable Lior Ashkenazi
) and Daphna (Sarah Adler
, in a fiery turn) being visited by