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Eli & Ben (2008)

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The life of the Yassif family becomes almost impossible when the father who is the city architect, is charged with taking bribes.



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Title: Eli & Ben (2008)

Eli & Ben (2008) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast overview:
Yuval Shevach ...
Eli (as Yuval Shevah)
Yael Hadar ...
Nissan Nativ ...
Adam Kenneth ...
Mili Eshet ...
Eliran Or-Hen ...
Shimon Mimran ...
Sigalit Fuchs ...
Shelly Gilor ...
Shmuel Edelman ...
School Principal
Asher Tzarfati ...
Siyalit Tamir ...
Rotem's Mother


Ben (Lior Ashkenazi, "Walk on Water") has always affectionately entertained his son Eli's (Yuval Shevakh) mischievous behavior. Their profound connection seems secure as Eli approaches his tumultuous teenager years. But when the police arrest Ben under suspicion of bribery, Eli has to face the possibility that his father is morally fallible. Ravid's film about the conflict between disillusionment and faith delivers a touching story without any simple answers. Written by kirstein-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family



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Release Date:

13 August 2009 (Israel)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

But what if he's guilty?
5 August 2010 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

Eli & Ben (2008) is an Israeli film written and directed by Ori Ravid. It stars the excellent young actor Yuval Shevach, as a decent, creative, 12-year-old boy. He's intelligent, popular, and getting good grades. (Not great grades--he isn't really a scholar.)

Suddenly, things start to fall apart. One of his friends is bullied and hurt by Eli's closest friend, and the beautiful girl he adores scorns his attentions. Then the real bombshell explodes--Eli's father, Ben, is accused of taking a bribe. (He's the city architect, and he may have taken money from a powerful developer in exchange for approving some dubious building plans.)

What begins as an Israeli preteen sitcom turns into serious stuff. if convicted, Ben faces 18 months in prison.

These plot threads play themselves out in the remainder of the film. There are a few formulaic scenes--Ben running, and then running some more, or Ben riding his bicycle faster and faster. However, those scenes are just glitches in an otherwise fascinating and sophisticated film. (Israeli films have been nominated for Best Foreign Film Oscars three years in a row. The Israeli film industry is gaining international recognition.)

We saw this movie at the exceptionally well-organized Rochester Jewish Film Festival. However, it will work well on DVD as well. Note: The film is carrying an anemic 6.7 IMDb weighted average. I consider it much better than that, and I can't understand why the films at the RJFF have been systematically underrated. My advice is to ignore the low rating, seek out this film, and decide for yourself.

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