The sharp, often hilarious satire that became the most successful film in Israeli history is about new immigrants Sallah and his family, who are left in a shack near their promised ... See full summary »
This story centers on the Jewish practice that requires an unmarried brother to marry the childless widow of his dead brother. In this story the younger brother is only 12 years old when ... See full summary »
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The new math teacher and new school principal discover the 16-year-old underachiever failing classes is really a genius, and the kid's own family's too busy relying on him to mend family fences to notice his brilliance either.
Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme's LE JOLI MAI (The Lovely Month of May) is a portrait of Paris and Parisians during May 1962;the first springtime of peace after the ceasefire with Algeria ... See full summary »
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A gambler comes into town to testify before the grand jury. He is killed by the mob before he can testify. Joe Geary (Kennedy) is fired from the police force for being soft on crime. This ... See full summary »
Dr. Steven Bishop is taken to the hideout of Frank Dillon and his gang to treat the wounded Joe Madison. Joe's nurse sister Nora Madison is also taken. Dillon tells Bishop that if Joe dies,... See full summary »
D. Ross Lederman
Howard Da Silva
The sharp, often hilarious satire that became the most successful film in Israeli history is about new immigrants Sallah and his family, who are left in a shack near their promised apartment and are abandoned for months. A Yemenite Jewish family that was flown to Israel during "Operation Magic Carpet" - a clandestine operation that flew 49,000 Yemenite Jews to Israel the year after the state was formed - is forced to move to a government settlement camp. The patriarch of the family, portrayed by Chaim Topol, tries to make money and get better housing, in a country that can barely provide for its own and is in the midst absorbing hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from Arab countries. Written by
a wonderfully entertaining look on Israel of the old days
In many ways, not only cinematically, Shabati is a master piece. With endless subtlety and style, Kishon (writer and director, one of Israel's all-time best creative artists in his debut film) brings the story of Salleh Shabati, a Yemenite immigrant to Israel in the first years since it's foundation. Shabati and his big family find themselves in a torn and yet un-structured society, trying in all sorts of ways to get the government - representatives of which being ignorant (if not racist), hard-headed, and at times corrupt, to move them from the "Ma'abara" (refugee camp) to a permanent housing. Shabati may appear, at first, to be a simple illiterate immigrant, but his simple and straightforward wisdom reveal the deepest-most hardships the new society of Israel is being challenged to face. Racism, cultural exclusion, poverty. Eventually, though, love triumphs. Fantastic acting by all actors involved, especially Topol with a magnificent once-in-a-life-time performance, plus sharp, accurate writing by Kishon, make this film a joy to watch. The history and sociology lesson are there if you want them, but Shabati is, before anything else, simply a brilliant film.
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