As a family from India moves in to a desert neighborhood in Southern Israel in the 1960's, the family's eldest, beautiful daughter discovers friendship and romance with the lovely local ...
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As a family from India moves in to a desert neighborhood in Southern Israel in the 1960's, the family's eldest, beautiful daughter discovers friendship and romance with the lovely local French girl. The film also explores the hardships and surprises that come with the integration of multiple families from different ethnic backgrounds (from the diaspora) and their struggle with immigration and prejudice. Written by
This film was a great success in Israel, and I was waiting for the opportunity to see it, unfortunately it was a rather disappointing experience.
The story happens at the end of the 60s, a time of economic boom in Israel after the six days war, but also a time Israel was led by the Labor party, which was conducting a socialist type of economy, directing resources to building industry in 'development' towns and trying to populate the remotely located desert areas of the country. New immigrants coming from India have to face the culture, climate and social shock of being badly integrated in a new society, having to surpass the language barrier, but above all encountering the lack of trust of the 'veteran' immigrants, from Morocco in this case.
The principal characters are two teenage girls, well played by two talented actresses, Liraz Charchi and Neta Garty who will build their friendship as a first and fragile bridge of understanding between their two communities. The story develops around their coming to age, while the theme of the integration of the Indian community borrows some elements from similar films about the integration of the Indian or Pakistanis immigrants in the UK. There is one scene, where a cricket team initiated by the Indians plays a game against a British team, when after the locals are humiliated on the play-ground the game is interrupted by a chaotic incident, so typical to the middle eastern mentality, and this is one of the best scenes of the movie.
Unfortunately, for the rest of the movie we get a treatment that is quite common to the Israeli cinema, a mix of vaudeville playing, melodrama, endless ethnic jokes that may sound well in a theater, but do not cross the screen, and amateuristic camera work and soundtrack. Opposite to the fresh acting of the two young main characters the rest of the cast acts in an outdated and melodramatic manner. This is called jokingly 'burekas' movies in Israel (burekas being a kind of pastry or pies specific to the area) and this film despite of its good intentions and a few shining moments is not much more than a 'burekas' film.
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