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Campfire (2004)

Medurat Hashevet (original title)
2:14 | Trailer

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The story of one woman's personal battle for acceptance, but also a portrait of a political movement that has forever affected millions of lives in the Middle East.



8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michaela Eshet ...
Rachel Gerlik
Tami Gerlik
Moshe Weinstock
Avi Grainik ...
Idit Teperson ...
Shula (as Edith Teperson)
Itay Turgeman ...
Barak Lizork ...
Danny Zahavi ...
Ofer Seker ...


Israeli Rachel Gerlik has been widowed for one year. Despite not ever having loved her husband, she feels she now needs to move on with her life. She plans to sell his car, which has not been touched in that year. She starts dating again, solely on blind dates set up by her friend Shula Kupfer, first with the insecure Yossi Moraly and then with renowned cantor Moshe Weinstock. Most importantly in Rachel's plan is to be accepted into the founding group of a new ideologically-based West Bank settlement yet to be built, the acceptance committee chaired by Shula's husband, Motkeh Kupfer, considered one of the most important figures in religious Zionism. She has many factors working against her in being accepted, most specifically there not being a man in the household. Regardless, Rachel and her family are accepted on a trial basis. Her family consists of two teen-aged daughters, Esti and Tami, both who believe that their mother has lost touch with the realities of their lives, especially... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

9 September 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Campfire  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Yehoram Gaon's first apperance in the movie comes shortly after a clip from the movie Mivtsa Yonatan (1977) is shown - a clip where Yehoram Gaon is giving a speech. See more »


When Rachel comes home after her meeting with the founding committee, when Tammy has locked herself in her room and Rachel is talking to Esti in the Living Room, the shots of Rachel show her with her hands cupped over the top of a soda pop bottle, but the shots of Esti (from behind Rachel) show Rachel's hands cupped on her knapsack on the table. See more »


[subtitled version]
Tami Gerlik: Why didn't you ever get married?
Yossi Moraly: I guess something's wrong with me.
Tami Gerlik: I'm serious.
Yossi Moraly: So am I. God doesn't want certain people to marry, so they won't reproduce. So he spoils something in their personality. Something little that you don't notice at first. But that something makes them stay alone.
Tami Gerlik: That doesn't make sense to me. I know some couples... I can't believe God wants them to reproduce.
See more »


Features Mivtsa Yonatan (1977) See more »


Hashmal Zorem Be-Chapot Yadecha
Lyrics by Yoram Taharlev
Music by Nurit Hirsch
Arranged by Jonathan Bar-Giora
Performed by Riki Gal
See more »

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User Reviews

A Nutshell Review: Campfire
11 September 2008 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

Campfire (Medurat Hasevet) marks the last film for me during the Israel Film Festival, and personally, I thought this film was the most mature of the lot, being honest in exploring the lives and relationships in all members of a single parent family. Being all women in the house, recently widowed Rachel Gerlik (Michaela Eshet) takes great pains in order to protect her daughters Esti (Maya Maron) and Tami (Hani Furstenberg) from growing pains, and it is in the characters that we see an observation of romance in three forms.

For Rachel, it is a second chance at real romance. She admits to her daughters that she has never been in love, not even with their father, and opportunity comes in the form of Yossi (Moshe Ivgy) the bus driver, who's attentive and sincere, and while having his own awkward moments at professing his love, you're likely to root for him to get his girl. Rachel though has her hands full, in juggling a fight to be accepted by her community in order to relocate to the new West Bank settlement to start life afresh, now made complicated by a potential love, and in trying to reconnect with her daughters.

In elder daughter Esti, we see budding puppy love, as well as her very distinct opposition with her mom, stemming from Rachel's refusal to provide her with some privacy at home. I guess every parent will have to face their kids at this point in their teenage lives, and hopefully live to tell the tale of triumphant tolerance in the face of constant cynicism. And lastly, probably the saddest of the lot, with Tami and her brush with one ugly emotion of Lust. The English title at least, refers to a pivotal moment in the story which involves around the Bonfire incident, and you can't help but seethe with rage, where writer-director Joseph Cedar succeeds in eliciting anger with a sense of helplessness, and deep despair.

What succeeded too is the performance of Hani Furstenberg in fleshing our her character, as we witness her credible spectrum of emotions ranging from the damsel in distress, and in being able to draw strength from within to deal with her terrible ordeal. Her chemistry with Michaela Eshet is quite amazing, and you will definitely be moved at how their characters interact with each other in the dealing with the fallout, even though it was just a short scene. I guess nobody should be made to suffer in that manner without clear repercussions or punishment, but reminds you in real life that sometimes there are situations where you can't expect everything to go in your favour, even though you're right and are seeking justice.

Instead, we see how one can face up to adversary in whichever form they take, and through Rachel, we realize that the well intent of others, who subconsciously impose their will and thoughts onto yourself, becomes enslaving, and there comes a time where one must break free. Free from living a life dictated by the community, of the need to conform unnecessarily, and to learn to stand on your own two feet. Michaela Eshet encapsulates this development of her character, and you can't help but to cheer silently when she finally breaks free from a mindset bondage.

It might be a small movie with a small principle cast, but its message and lesson couldn't be more than relevant, especially when it comes to the notion of blood being thicker than water, with a mother's love that knows no bounds.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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