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Ba-rakia ha-hamishi (2011)

Maya, a beautiful, 13, arrives to an orphanage towards the end of World War II. She discovers who her true father is and has a forbidden relationships with an orphanage worker.



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Credited cast:
Maya Hermoni
Dov Markovsky
Frida Overbuch
Sanya Wolfson
Berta (as Rotem Zussman)
Yosef ('Duce')
Tamar Shem Or ...
Pani Pola
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Roi Miller ...
Kachka Hermoni
Rafy Rotem ...
Radio Newscaster (voice)
Michelle Treves ...
Yaffa (Kofale')


Maya, a beautiful, 13, arrives to an orphanage towards the end of World War II. She discovers who her true father is and has a forbidden relationships with an orphanage worker.

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Release Date:

October 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Fifth Heaven  »

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Maya sneaks into Markovsky's office and takes a letter from his desk - the same letter, according to the story, that we saw him put there earlier. But the address on the envelope is different. See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting background, insipid main story
4 November 2012 | by (Israel) – See all my reviews

In 1962 novelist Rachel Eitan published her semi-fictional memoirs of the growing pains of a pubescent girl in an orphanage in British- controlled Palestine. Although she was not an orphan, with both parents still living, the protagonist, Maya, was sent to the orphanage with the help of some well-placed friends to alleviate the financial troubles of her father.

The time is 1944-1945, the last year of the Second World War, when the wartime alliance between the Jews of Palestine and the British was coming to an end. The former began amassing weapons for the coming conflict against the Arabs and the latter were busy confiscating these weapons and overall, making life generally miserable for the Jews.

The film touches upon those themes, as well as on the additional topics of Jewish women dating British soldiers, the exploits of the Lehi underground unit, known to the world as the Stern Gang, and the rise of parasitic, opportunistic entrepreneurs, looking to make a fast buck in the midst of those historic times. There is even an oblique look at the holocaust, in the (too shallow) presentation of the orphan girl "FROM THERE".

It seems fairly obvious that against such an historical and political background, the coming of age story is reduced to a bland, pale narrative. It does not help that the acting is so wooden, and that the heroine's face is reduced to an empty stare which does not register empathy with the viewer. Furthermore, the relations between the too-few orphans (I am certain the place was chock-full of orphans in those Holocaust days) is almost non-existent, and it is very hard to see how the newcomer has turned into the queen bee. Even the sexual awakening of the girls is presented in such an insipid way as to make it totally uninteresting.

I give this movie 5 stars for its overall look and feel, but as for being a coming of age story, we have seen much much better (400 Blows, for example).

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