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Koko Ben 19 (1985)

| Drama


Credited cast:
Udi Cohen
Meir Dadon
Shifra Ha'efrati
Gil Rosenthal


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Koko Is 19  »

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thefts drugs rock-n-roll
1 June 2006 | by (Israel) – See all my reviews

It seems the Eastern Jews are the biggest source of entertainment in the Israeli movies. This one is about a talented kid Koko whose song gets stolen by a greedy producer. Desperate Koko influenced by his fierce friend Pini pulls a job on a jewelry store. A quite realistic sequence of unhappy coincidences makes the two Moroccan kids from a poor Jerusalem neighborhood wanted by the police for a murderous bank robbery, which they did not do. Koko's girlfriend's father, a journalist of the European Jew origin, how symbolic, attempts to save Koko and Pini - too late. This is the break-time for Israeli music trends: the stage goes Eighties! But a rock-n-roll hero should live bright and die young especially when a legend is made. Koko is just the case. He never sees his 19th birthday. Other symbolic scenes show an Israeli policeman brutally beating Pini, poor Moroccans refusing to leave Jerusalem for then remote Maale Adumim where the government offers them a housing program, Tel-Aviv mobsters trying to deceive the Jerusalem kids, the stolen song bringing fame and money to anyone but the real creators. The producer, pointing at Koko, says "This one, a song can come from this one?" - hey guys, we are being suggested, look, the real music comes from those poor Eastern kids, what your European elite can do is but steal it from them and then treat the kids with police brutality. All these makes the feature an attempted cult film in honor of the Israeli Eastern Jews working class, or even the decades. The Director, Dany Verete, turns the Israeli mostly comedian mainstream of the 60s and 70s into a new narrative, not less dramatic though tragic. Still a good story properly told, the feature lacks certain cinematographic approach (camera work, sound processing, and editing are quite plain; actors do their best for the Israeli school). Nevertheless, this is a piece of honest work.

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