In the center of "Sweet Mud" ("Adama Meshuga'at" in Hebrew) we find the story of Miri Avni (Ronit Yudkevitz) and her growing up son, Dvir (Tomer Steinhof, with a stunning debut), in a southern Kibbutz during the 1970's.
Where people have to struggle to give from themselves for each other, Miri is constantly trying to recover from the mysterious death of her husband. Under these circumstances, Miri's sensitive situation is worsened and stands contrary to the values of equality that rule the Kibbutz, through the eyes of its members.
Dvir, who's at his Bar-Mitzva's year, is familiar with his mom's condition and tries to prevent her from losing her mind and kick her back to float with the stream. This purpose becomes even more complicated when Dvir has to deal the contrast between the Kibbutz's equality values and his mother's liberty and freedom to live as mentally-ill person at the normative society, and is about to change his adolescence and life.
This flick was mastered and crafted by an accurate and sensitive direction, powerful performances, trembling soundtrack and phenomenal cinematography, and it's well driven by its refined storyline.
Dror Shaul portrayed a personal, yet very resolute story of life in the Kibbutz before privatization, alongside a strict, emotionally-precise coming-of-age tale for independence and dignity.
Young actor Tomer Steinhof is the basis of this film. His performance is so minimalistic, so moving and so convincing that he just tears apart the viewers hearts. This kid HAS to win world-wide recognition and must appear on as many films as possible. Beautiful Ronit Yudkevitz is another supporting-pillar of the film, with a wretched, merciless portrait of a lapsed and helpless woman. Her physical and mental deterioration is absolutely heart-rending. The chemistry between these two marvelous actors and the characters they hand over to the screen is very convincing and leads to many emotional refractions.
The supporting actors do wonderful job as well; Senior Belgique actor Henri Garcin shines on a 5-minutes, yet very important role, as the foreign aging lover of Miri; Shai Avivi with a role of the "comic-moderator" though a very malice person; Gal Zaid as the controversial secretary of the Kibbutz; And many more.
Mixed with mesmerizing music and amazing cinematography, this movie turns to be one of the best Israeli films of all times, if not the best of them.
I was truly affected by this piece of culture.
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