I saw this film in an audience of about 80 American Jews passionately devoted to Israel. Most had visited Kibbutzim, a number had lived on one or more. Some thought Dror Shaul's theme -- the claustrophobic atmosphere and pressure inflicted on a mentally unstable Kibbutz member -- reflected aspects of kibbutz life they had witnessed. Others saw it as a complete distortion of an Edenic, well-intentioned if ultimately unsuccessful, experiment. One thought it should not be shown to American audiences because it reflected badly on Israel. It is, frankly, an emotionally draining and heart-wrenching story about a youngster (Tomer Steinhof) and his unstable mother (Ronit Yudkevitz), whose instability is seriously aggravated if not caused by the unforgiving atmosphere on the kibbutz. Depending on your perspective, you might hate this film because it doesn't conform to your vision of kibbutz life. You may find it excessively unpleasant and dislike it for that reason. However, though it is undeniably dark, the movie is powerful, well-acted and beautifully directed. It provoked a long discussion among members of the audience whom I saw it with. Many were moved, some were angry. Most thought it was well worth seeing, as do I.
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