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Meduzot (the Hebrew word for Jellyfish) tells the story of three very different Israeli women living in Tel Aviv whose intersecting stories weave an unlikely portrait of modern Israeli life. Batya, a catering waitress, takes in a young child apparently abandoned at a local beach. Batya is one of the servers at the wedding reception of Keren, a young bride who breaks her leg in trying to escape from a locked toilet stall, which ruins her chance at a romantic honeymoon in the Caribbean. One of the guests is Joy, a Philippine chore woman attending the event with her employer, and who doesn't speak any Hebrew (she communicates mainly in English), and who is guilt-ridden after having left her young son behind in the Philippines. Written by
Meduzot (2007) is an Israeli film written and co-directed by Shira Geffen. (The other co- director is Etgar Keret.) The film was shown in the U.S. with the title "Jellyfish."
Sarah Adler plays Batia, a fine person, but possibly the world's worst waitress. One day, at the seashore, a young girl drifts to shore, buoyed by a small plastic doughnut-shaped tube, and walks up to Batia. This little girl, played by Nikol Leidman, never speaks. We know she exists, because at one point she and Batia are in a police station, and the detective sees her too. However, that's all we know about her. Ms. Leidman is either completely guileless, or she's the best actor in the film. Her solemn, wide-eyed gaze is riveting.
Several other characters interact in the film--a Filipino nurse who has been forced to emigrate without her young son, a brother and sister and their sick mother, and a newly wedded bride who has broken her leg on her wedding day.
I enjoyed the movie because it was about ordinary people living ordinary lives--no soldiers, no explosions, no violent confrontations. The acting was uniformly excellent, and I was caught up in the film from beginning to end. It's worth seeing and worth seeking out. It will probably work well on DVD--most of the action is intimate and doesn't require a large screen. This film was shown at the excellent Rochester High Falls International Film Festival.
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