Two women embark on a road trip after they are brought together by circumstance. Rebecca (Portman) flees her hotel after a fight with her mother-in-law (Maura) and hails a taxi driven by Hanna (Lazlo).
The story of Amos Oz's youth, set against the backdrop of the end of the British Mandate for Palestine and the early years of the State of Israel. The film details the young man's relationship with his mother and his beginnings as a writer, while looking at what happens when the stories we tell become the stories we live.
Rebecca, a young American lady who has been living in Jerusalem for a while, suddenly breaks off her engagement with Julio, her Israeli fiancé. In a state of emotional shock she gets into a taxi and asks the diver to take her anywhere she likes but away from the place where she broke up. Although reluctant, Hanna, the driver lets her accompany her to Jordan's Free Zone where she is to meet "The American", her husband Moshe's Palestinian business partner. Once there, they realize "The American" is not there but a Palestinian woman named Leila offers them, after much bickering with Hanna, to take them to the oasis where "The American" lives... Written by
A crowd of ultra-orthodox Jewish worshippers confronted Natalie Portman and her co-star Aki Avni, objecting to the couple kissing during the filming of a scene beside Jerusalem's Western Wall. The crowd charged and shouted "Immoral, immoral!" Police asked the actors to leave and return later, and they agreed. See more »
When the vehicle is just approaching the border crossing near the end of the film (1:23:00 on the DVD) we can see the silhouette of someone wearing a baseball cap moving about in the back of the vehicle. See more »
[after prolonged sitting in car crying]
Can we go? Can we leave this place? Please.
I don't know. Let's get out of here, please.
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This is one of those really bad films. Actually there isn't too much to say. Boring script, shallow stereotypical characters and long unending scenes. "ART FILM" at its worst. Some of the camera shots were nicely made though, I have to agree. And Channa Laszlo does a good work as leading actress.
OK, now let's forget about that. Another boring film from Gitai. Nothing new. What interests me as a film-goer from Israel is the question: How come Gitai is the most successful Israeli film maker in international audiences.
There are other much more talented Israeli directors such as Avi Nesher, Dover Koshashvili, Gil Dar or Keren Yadaaia. So why Gitai? Well it is a known fact that the French and European audiences love him because of his left wing ideas. He flatters the European views on Israel and he sells himself in Europe as an Israeli dissident and exile unacknowledged or even censored by Israeli establishment for his so called radical views.
As an Israeli left winger, let me tell you. Nobody cares enough about Gitai to even bother to censor him. The truth of the matter is that if you know the Israeli reality only a bit, it becomes immediately apparent how phony and untruthful his films are. His view of Israel, the way you see it in "Free Zone" is like that of the tourist he is, coming to Israel from Paris to make a new film and watching the whole of Israeli reality condescendingly from his know-all glasses.
This is the reason why all his films fail in Israel both critically as well as in the box office. Not because of his "radical" political views. Israeli audiences can cope with criticism, but not with Gitai's packs of cliché's. It is a shame audiences in the world who don't know the situation in Israel well enough, get their impression from such phony works.
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