IMDb > Yana's Friends (1999)

Yana's Friends (1999) More at IMDbPro »Ha-Chaverim Shel Yana (original title)

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Overview

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7.2/10   468 votes »
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Release Date:
4 November 1999 (Israel) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Three parallel strories of immigrants in Tel Aviv during the Gulf War and about coming together while sealed in a room during the Scud attacks. | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
15 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
SCUDS and Love in Tel Aviv See more (8 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Evelyn Kaplun ... Yana
Nir Levy ... Eli
Shmil Ben Ari ... Yuri Kalantarov
Mosko Alkalai ... Yitzhak
Dalia Friedland ... Rosa
Vladimir Friedman ... Alik
Israel Sasha Demidov ... Fima (as Israel Damidov)
Lena Sachanova ... Mila
Jenya Fleisher ... Edik
Evyatar Lazar ... Daniel
Lucy Dubinchik ... Yuri's daughter
Valentin Nikulin ... Neighbour
Aleksandr Stanilov ... Moving contractor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

George Bush ... Himself (archive footage)
Clara Rockmore ... Herself - Theremin Virtuoso (archive footage)
Chaim Yavin ... Himself - News Anchor (archive footage)
Yael Avraham ... Pregnant Woman (uncredited)
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Directed by
Arik Kaplun 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Arik Kaplun  writer
Semyon Vinokur  (as Simon Vinokur)

Produced by
Anat Bikel .... producer
Moshe Levinson .... producer
Marek Rozenbaum .... producer
Uri Sabag .... producer
 
Original Music by
Avi Benjamin 
 
Cinematography by
Valentin Belonogov 
 
Film Editing by
Einat Glaser-Zarhin 
 
Art Direction by
Ariel Roshko 
 
Costume Design by
Laura Dinolesko 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Alona Lichter .... third assistant director
 
Sound Department
Dan Matalon .... sound recordist
Gil Toren .... sound designer
Fiodor Venezianov .... boom operator
 
Stunts
Koby Azarly .... stunt coordinator
William Devital .... stunt coordinator
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Avraham Abramov .... additional photographer
Oren Arad .... clapper loader
Leonid Basin .... assistant camera
Udi Rimer .... gaffer
Jonathan Sela .... best boy
Eyal Tiano .... key grip
Choresh Wald .... grip
Joseph Zicherman .... focus puller
 
Other crew
Keren Sternfeld .... script supervisor
 

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Ha-Chaverim Shel Yana" - Israel (original title)
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Runtime:
USA:90 min
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Language:
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Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Features "Zehu Ze" (1978)See more »

FAQ

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
SCUDS and Love in Tel Aviv, 6 June 2009
Author: Andy (film-critic) from Bookseller of the Blue Ridge

"Yana's Friends" is an innocent story of being lost, finding love, and surviving several SCUD missile attacks. It is a multi-lingual with universal messages, which pulls from relevant moments in Tel Aviv history. "Yana" makes successful leaps and bounds, unlike most American films, by keeping our conflicts and comedy centralized while remaining focused. An old apartment building is our destination as Yana and her husband arrive with a hefty bank note in hand and a surprising "bun-in-the-oven", while macho man Eli seduces women and parties the nights away as a wedding photographer. Add to this mix a couple with a WWII veteran, a street musician, and a rusty old landlord who is about to recapture her youth, and "Yana's Friends" finally takes shape. This is a soaring skyscraper, character driven film that is part comedy, mostly drama, creatively building tension around the violence of the 1991 Gulf War. The film is simple at first, becoming complicated over time, but never forgetting its roots. It is emotional, far from the cannon of pure comedy; the lacked translation transforms it into an absurdist drama that could bring tears. "Yana's Friends" is a completely solid entry into the world of foreign films and groundling strengths, alas, it isn't perfect.

The way that "Yana's Friends" works is such, the first thirty minutes are exciting, building new characters, introducing them to their quirks and settling down, it is the second act, and the choppy third where we loose momentum and finally some steam. The dismal center of this film is important, it is needed to get character A to character B, but ultimately does it have to be so depressing? As Yana struggles with her newfound freedom, she lashes out – in an unfunny scene (though it was meant to carry some humor) she attempts to plow through the airport and board a plane she is not allowed to. It is embarrassing for our characters and for us as we see this event take shape – and it feels awkward. As she returns, she lashes out towards her friends and ultimately falls in love. Again, these scenes become ridged in nature, never quite bringing that solidarity needed for audiences to completely fall for Yana and her crew. It is the apartment owner's sudden realization that again, is cute at first, but fails to become poignant by the film's end. "Yana's Friends" boasted a solid opening, where director Arik Kaplun could spread his creativity, his originality widely, but then he rushed the end. Perhaps it is the time-frame of the film, or the inability to answer "why", but Yana just twittered from one man to the next, looking for the same thing we, as audiences, were looking for – that solid piece of art that we could hold onto.

Yet, there is a place for "Yana's Friends" within the history of cinema. This opens the door to Israeli films, a genre that I haven't explored enough, and it conquers the theme of beginning with nothing and ending with emotions stronger than any inanimate object you could own. The concept of immigration in this foreign film was intriguing to watch, to explore really, as it felt like events that could relate throughout the world. As we enter a new era of war and love, one could envision this happening anywhere – which makes "Yana's Friends" stand out. The comedy was missing, but perhaps that was just the lacking subtitles. This was a good film, just not a powerful one as the box touts. I could suggest this film to friends, perhaps I could watch it again, but it not a film to have in the collection. "Yana's Friends" delighted me to watch, but the lacking ending and trivialized characters forced it out of perfection.

Grade: *** ½ out of *****

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