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Cohen takes an elliptical approach in telling the story of Pinchas Rutenberg, a visionary, complex, and larger-than-life figure, who, amongst other things, brought electricity to Jewish Palestine in the early 20th century by building a hydroelectric power station in Nahararyim. Written by
National Center for Jewish Film
with no regard to what i'm about to write about this film, there is a very little chance that the common israeli will dress up, make babysitting arrangements for his kids and pay 30 nis (about 7.5$) to see a movie about the guy who built the first hydro-electric power plant in israel. that leaves us with obsessive movie goers such as yours truly which may be sufficient income in u.s.a but hardly a significant revenue in israel.
as i said, the movie is about pinchas ruttenberg, the man that planned and carried out the plan to built an hydro-electric plant in naharaim back in the 1930's eretz-israel (than, a british colony named palestine). at that time, such an idea would be the equivalent of building a 200 stories building in kandahar. as it happens, the avid engineer with the vision of a modernized palestine, was a radical liberation activist (a terrorist, really) in 1905 russian revolution (the one that initiated the first russian parliament- the DUMA), a fact that will continue to haunt him fifteen years later when he'll ask winston churchill the concession to build the power plant. the charismatic personality and endless perseverance of ruttenberg helped in creating a small but extremely loyal followers, unfortunately that same perseverance blinded him from risks and from friends in need.
in a way pinchas ruttenberg was william randolph hurst of the the zionist movement. the movie, no doubt, makes you wonder about the nature of that unusual person but alongside the riveting turn of events through ruttenberg's life, the movie itself in many moments, is lingering routine- i.e. boring. its altogether a good film but he generates the high-impact scene in its beginning, and leaves the rest of the movie slow-paced (too slow, at times). summing up, the movie is lacks homogeneity. it's interesting but not amazing, its well written but awkwardly edited, its magnificently acted (superb acting indeed) but not well paced. as i said earlier, the movie will not be a hit regardless of its qualities as a film but for a pensive mood, this movie might be a very reasonable option. 7.5 out of 10 in my FilmOmeter.
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