|Index||1 reviews in total|
daring but uneven, 7 November 2010
Author: Michael Neumann from United States
A fictitious friendship is created between two actual women, German poet Else Lasker-Schüler and early Zionist Manya (here named Tonia) Shohat, to explore contrasting environments during the 1920s, a unique period in history "between freedom and destruction". The film takes a while to find its parallel structure and after that is uneven, at best; the scenes showing Zionist settlers carving a future from the unforgiving landscape of Palestine are vivid and convincing, while the superficial depiction of pre-war Berlin is rarely more than pretentious, with the screenplay making the tactical mistake of too often quoting Lasker-Schüler's expressionistic poetry. Time and again the film threatens to lapse into a more conventional drama, but director Amos Gitai's experimental instincts finally win out: the conclusion, with its daring segue into modern Jerusalem, is pure Godard. The film was designed with the precision of an architectural blueprint, but while the intellectual approach is often fascinating, perhaps some emotional involvement with the subject would have made it a more rewarding experience.
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