Is today's fanaticism tomorrow's policy? In a West Bank settlement, Rabbi Meltzer has a grand design: he's building a movement "to pray at the Temple Mount." His yeshiva has scholars, and ...
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Is today's fanaticism tomorrow's policy? In a West Bank settlement, Rabbi Meltzer has a grand design: he's building a movement "to pray at the Temple Mount." His yeshiva has scholars, and the settlement is getting its own military company to be commanded by Menachem, a disciple of the rabbi. He also wants his daughter, Michal, to marry Pini, the yeshiva's best scholar. Michal has no interest in Pini, but she is attracted to Menachem. When she rebuffs Pini, he hatches a bold and secret plan. Is jealousy the motivation or something else? Meanwhile, the army and Mossad are closely watching the rabbi's activities and Menachem's military training. Who is trustworthy? Written by
In a West Bank settlement a Rabbi has risen up to get his own following. It is Rabbi Meltzer's plan to build the temple and he has formed his own military unit under the command of Menachem, on of his disciples. Meanwhile one of Menachem's men, Pini, is called to meet the Rabbi's daughter, Michal, so that their marriage can be arranged. However Michal rejects Pini as she has fallen for Menachem.
Other reviewers here have criticised this film for not giving them the understanding of the politics around the area, however I consider this a very unfair accusation. This film is not about the situation; it may have some subtexts that comment on it but generally the film struck me as a thriller based around several characters. As such (and I can only review it as such) I found it to be quite effective at points but also to be rather slow at others. As a thriller there were plenty of good moments either tense, running with guns moments or good revelations or twists around the characters; however at other times it was too slow and seemed to drag to include at attempt at subtext or commentary that it didn't need (or certainly didn't do enough with).
Outside of this the story is pretty good even if you ignore some of the character's motivations. I must admit to being a bit lost as to why Michal took the path she did with such vigour while Pini was a mystery to me; but ignoring the weaker turns helped me focus on the dramatic flow, flawed though it was. The direction is good even though the budget clearly would not compare to your average Hollywood thriller. I had never seen any of the cast in anything before and they were pretty average on the whole. The only performances that stood out for me were Avni's Menachem and Volf's Mookie both had good presence.
Overall this is not a great film but it more or less works as a watchable little thriller based around several characters. The story may have plenty of flaws but it moves along well enough save for a few dull patches. It won't teach you anything about the region and it's occasional attempts to pass comment only serve to take away from the main story which could have been a lot pacier and exciting without Meltzer's preaching.
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