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The story of a great rivalry between a father and son, both eccentric professors in the Talmud department of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The son has an addictive dependency on the embrace and accolades that the establishment provides, while his father is a stubborn purist with a fear and profound revulsion for what the establishment stands for, yet beneath his contempt lies a desperate thirst for some kind of recognition. The Israel Prize, Israel's most prestigious national award, is the jewel that brings these two to a final, bitter confrontation. Written by
One thing that has become common in American popular culture - if you can call it culture - is to have all sorts of salacious family feuds. That makes it all the more satisfying to see Joseph Cedar's "Hearat Shulayim" ("Footnote" in English). The movie focuses on a father and son, both of whom are professors at the Talmudic Research department of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Despite the father's extensive studies, the Israel Prize committee refuses to recognize his work, while the son has garnered a lot of respect. One day, the father receives a call announcing that he's winning the prize. There's just one problem: the committee meant to call the son.
The movie makes sure to avoid tabloid-style situations. It takes a serious approach to the situation. Probably the most effective scene is when the son meets the Israel Prize committee in a cramped office and reminds them of the hypocrisy of their decision to deny his father the prize. Nonetheless, the tension between father and son remains. In the end, it's a really good movie. I haven't seen many Israeli movies, but now I would like to.
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