The new math teacher and new school principal discover the 16-year-old underachiever failing classes is really a genius, and the kid's own family's too busy relying on him to mend family fences to notice his brilliance either.
Directed by multi-award winner Nir Bergman (BROKEN WINGS), SAVING NETA tells the stories of four women whose lives change after their brief encounter with a man called Neta. Humour, drama, ... See full summary »
Emma Alfi Aharon,
Tells the story of the complex relationship between an Israeli Secret Service officer and his teenage Palestinian informant. Shuttling back and forth between conflicting points of view, the... See full summary »
When one of the brothers (Ohayn) dies, all the whole family comes for Shiva (Jewish tradition,when the family sits seven days at the home after the death one of their family). A large ... See full summary »
The movie is a romantic comedy which takes place in Israel during the Austerity period of the 1950s. The movie's hero is Alex, a 13 year old boy who is about to attend his Bar Mitzvah. Alex... See full summary »
The year is 1989. In an era of Palestinian demands for independence, the State of Israel sends young soldiers to oversee the Arab population in the Occupied Territories. After one of them ... See full summary »
Unfortunately it centers around a character we can't identify with
Leonard Cohen wrote, "you know that she's half crazy but that's why you want to be there." We know that Israeli poet Yona Wallach was half crazy but the movie doesn't completely convince us that we want to be there. We see people sympathizing with her-- many people-- but they are defined almost entirely in terms of their relationship to her (which basically consists of liking her and/or her poetry) and their sympathy is taken for granted; it doesn't draw us in. They pop up, sometimes unexpectedly from far away, to see her, but we can't sympathize with Yona much ourselves because although here and there we get a bit of explanation regarding her frustrations, she's too unpredictable to be identified with. What the movie does provide to rally us to her side is extracts from her poetry, reminding us that she does deserve a biopic. I saw the movie in Hebrew, without an English translation, but I see in the credits that the poetry is translated into English by Linda Zisquit and I trust her. She writes good poetry of her own. Naomi Levov received a best actress nomination for the title role; it's one of those on-screen-every-moment roles, and she does hold interest throughout.
Not everybody's poetry comes across well on first hearing, and without the full text to look at, but Yona Wallach's poetry is not a problem. The problem, as in any movie about a writer, is in depicting the creative process. In the movie, either Yona has a poem in her head, apparently fully formed, or she doesn't. The story makes a big deal over whether she can or can't write, and it's a pity that the filmmakers couldn't crack the problem of showing how the poems develop. But Leonard Cohen had something to say about that too. He said, "If I knew where the poems come from, I'd go there more often."
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