Meduzot (the Hebrew word for Jellyfish) tells the story of three very different Israeli women living in Tel Aviv whose intersecting stories weave an unlikely portrait of modern Israeli life... See full summary »
Is the story of Samantha and Dov Ernst, American Zionists who emigrated to Palestine. Kalkofsky, a German Jew and bookseller, left behind his family in Europe. He accommodates Silvia, a young revolutionary against British rule.
From Israel's most important filmaker, CARMEL is Amos Gitai's (KADOSH, KIPPUR) deeply personal and resonant meditation on Jewish and Israeli identity. Using both fiction and documentary ... See full summary »
Ghalia is inhabited by the soul of Zeina, a girl who drowned the day she was born. Haunted by Zeina's past life, Ghalia travels to Damascus to study acting and understand her present ... See full summary »
Izzat Abou Jabal,
Hussein Al Shazli
In Tel Aviv, people prepare food, eat, make love, get pregnant, and die. Can one find peace in this life, asks one character at a wake; can there be an act of freedom in this modern life, ... See full summary »
The new math teacher and new school principal discover the 16-year-old underachiever failing classes is really a genius, and the kid's own family's too busy relying on him to mend family fences to notice his brilliance either.
In 1980 the black Falashas in Ethiopia are recognised as genuine Jews. In turn they are secretly carried to Israel. The day before the transport the son of a Jewish mother dies. In his ... See full summary »
In Majdal Shams, the largest Druze village in Golan Heights on the Israeli-Syrian border, the Druze bride Mona is engaged to get married with Tallel, a television comedian that works in the... See full summary »
When one of the brothers (Ohayn) dies, all the whole family comes for Shiva (Jewish tradition,when the family sits seven days at the home after the death one of their family). A large ... See full summary »
In Tel Aviv, the gloomy Ezra hires foreign workers without permits to build an addition to a homely block of flats where his ex-wife Mali lives with her current lover Ilan. Ezra and Mali's young son Eyal hates the army and is AWOL, living among prostitutes and drug dealers. Gabi, a beautiful young woman who's a friend of Mali's, is carrying on an affair with Hezi, an older man insisting on secrecy. Hezi rents an apartment at the building for their trysts. Neighbors complain about the noise of their lovemaking and of the construction. Lives revolve slowly one around another. "Everyone's out for himself," says Ezra of Israeli society. Suicide bombings and elections provide a backdrop. Written by
"Alila" is a snail-paced series of vignettes about life in one Tel Aviv neighborhood. The film features roughly a half dozen stories playing out simultaneously, most of them focused on a single apartment building and the people who live and work there. Gabi is a young woman who's having an affair with an older married man named Hezi, who has set her up in her own little unit in the complex where he comes to visit her periodically for passionate sexual encounters. The second major plot strand involves Ezra, a building contractor, who is helping to add what may be a possibly illegal wing onto the building. Ezra, who lives in the van he uses for work, has an ex-wife whom he still loves and can't seem to leave alone, as well as a teenaged son who has gone AWOL from the Israeli army because he doesn't believe in the cause for which the military - and, by extension, the nation - is fighting. There are several other plot strands running throughout the film, but these two are the most prominent and, in the second case at least, the most compelling.
If writer/director Amos Gitai had managed to pick up the pace a bit and brought a little more cohesiveness to the narrative, "Alila" might have been an interesting little movie. The tale involving the young boy and his divorced parents is, by far, the most intriguing, and one wishes that Gitai had simply made the film about that storyline and jettisoned the rest. The part dealing with Gabi and Hezi is not only hackneyed and dull, but involves a change of heart on the part of Gabi that is so arbitrary and poorly prepared for that it seems as if large chunks of the film had inadvertently tumbled onto the cutting room floor and been swept out with the trash. One character in the film even has the incisiveness to analogize Gabi's life to the infamously bad soap opera "Back Street" - and how right she is! Apparently the filmmakers were incapable of perceiving and acting upon the astute self-criticism inherent in the comment. The other stories are even more dull and uninteresting - although, mercifully, they take up far less running time than this one. The film touches ever so lightly on such topics as the tensions between Arab and Jew, and the problems of illegal immigrants in the country, but neither issue gets much in-depth analysis from the filmmakers.
The acting is good, especially in the one episode that really counts, but even that isn't enough to pump some badly needed life into the film. "Alila" meanders down its long and monotonous path, only to wind up pretty much where it started at the beginning.
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