A story in two parts and two places. In 2005 in Avignon, a man has died; at his house his body lies in state attended by a soprano and by his daughter Ana, who is in the process of leaving her husband. His adopted son Uli, an Israeli police officer, arrives for the funeral. With Uli, Ana is playful, even foolish, and she attempts to forge a new will of her father's. The family attorney brushes aside Ana's forgery and produces a true will that upsets Ana and sends her, with Uli, to Israel where she must visit a settlement scheduled for destruction in the Gaza disengagement. What are the wellsprings of emotion, and what of an embrace? Written by
The movie starts with a long conversation that seems written solely to enable a character to complain that the Arabs of Palestine are not recognized as a distinct nation although (contends this character, who is never seen again) they have been one for hundreds of years. It continues with a long interlude of existential/claustrophobic drama in a large house in Avignon occupied by the fresh corpse of an old professor, his frequently and unaccountably merry daughter, and his adopted son from Israel, with whom the daughter flirts. This interlude fails perhaps because the actors seldom have a line in their native language and therefore can't summon up the mojo to give the cryptic relationships interest. Then it appears that according to the old man's will, to which the daughter unsuccessfully tries to forge a change, the daughter must now go visit her own abandoned daughter who lives in Gaza in a Jewish settlement which the son already has military orders to coincidentally, at the very same time, go help dismantle. The dismantling of the settlement, re-enacted up the coast at Nitzanim, looks reasonably realistic, at least if you judge by the news footage of the time. A fairly large troupe of bit players does justice to the soldiers and the settlers, and the camera conveys the atmosphere well. As the old man's daughter meets her own daughter and they, at least briefly, lose one another again during the evacuation, is their relationship supposed to symbolize something about the political situation? Or vice versa? What do the scenes in Gaza have to do with the matters raised in the Avignon scenes? A viewer is tempted to think that perhaps Gaza was introduced for no reason but to link an otherwise boring and incomplete movie to a hot item from the recent news pages.
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