I thought the strong and realistic performance of the two leads, Gur Bentwich and Elya Inbar, carried this Israeli film. This to me was a tough movie to rate because I could easily be extremely judgmental of the actions of some of the characters and how unlikable they could be at times. However, since the film interested me and kept my attention and my emotional involvement, I ended up giving it a favorable rating.
Inbar's motion picture debut as Libi I found to be rather amazing. I really felt a lot of empathy for her trying to cope with extremely trying circumstances. She's a 13 year old asthmatic teen, who arrives in Israel, apparently have been "shipped off" by her mother, in California, for anger management issues.
Libi will now be taken in and live with her father Shaul, also superbly portrayed by Gur Bentwith, even though for a number of years now they haven't been in close contact. What she doesn't know when she arrives, is that Shaul is broke, has no living quarters, or car. He's an inventor but has had no success in marketing or selling any of his ideas.
In a borrowed car, he takes Libi to Northern Israel to visit and possible stay with his friend Avner. However, this is right at the time of the Israeli/Lebanese War and Hezbollah is sending missiles into cities in the North. They meet Avner in a neighborhood bomb shelter, but are soon heading back South. With money Avner gave Shaul, they temporarily take a hotel room.
Here Shaul sees on TV that Israeli families in the South are opening up their home to Israeli refugees from the North, who have been displaced by the bombings. So Shaul, being the wheeler-dealer that he is sees an opportunity to get shelter from a host family, and has Libi go along with his concocted story.
They eventually are taken in by a host family consisting of Gidi (Tzahi Grad), his wife Helit (Salit Achimiriam), and their 18 year old son. In a supporting role, I thought Grad's performance added quite a bit to the movie, as a high powered businessman who later became interested in one of Shaul's inventions.
You can see Shaul and Libi love each other, but Libi is really stuck between a "rock and a hard place". My heart went out to her, as being a 13 year old she's kind of powerless in that situation. The remainder of the film involves not only Shaul and Libi's relationship, but also their eventual interpersonal relationships with their new host family.
As mentioned earlier, there's plenty to dislike in some of the characters, especially Shaul who is consistently selfish and irresponsible. However, despite that for whatever reason I was absorbed in the story overall and wanted to see how it would turn out. I thought the eventual ending was rather simplistic and not really believable.
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