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Bethlehem (I) (2013)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,248 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 14 user | 58 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

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 »

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Title: Bethlehem (2013)

Bethlehem (2013) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Razi
Shadi Mar'i ...
Sanfur
Hitham Omari ...
Badawi
Michal Shtamler ...
Einat
...
Abu Ibrahim
George Iskandar ...
Nasser
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yossi Eini ...
Levy
Penina Mezei ...
Devorah
Dudu Niv ...
Shefler
Irad Rubinstain ...
Army Officer (as Irad Rubenstein)
Ibrahim Saqallah ...
Tayson
Karem Shakur ...
Abu Mussa
Efrat Shnap ...
Maya
Slmnham ...
Ibrahim
Ali Wakad ...
Journalist
Edit

Storyline

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 film is a raw portrayal of characters torn apart by competing loyalties and impossible moral dilemmas, giving an unparalleled glimpse into the dark and fascinating world of human intelligence. Written by Bethlehem

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When you are playing both sides, who do you trust?

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

26 September 2013 (Israel)  »

Also Known As:

Beit-Lehem  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Israel to the Oscars 2014 best foreign language film category. See more »

Goofs

The last scene, when he smashed the Israeli officer's head with a rock, we can see that there is no blood spatters on it, however on the next shot, while he is sitting apart we can see the blood marks. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Eretz Nehederet: Episode #11.8 (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pawns on a deadly chess board
15 August 2014 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

Bethlehem (2013/I) is an Israeli film co-written and directed by Yuval Adler. It tells the story of a Palestinian adolescent, Sanfur (played by Shadi Mar'i) and his relationship with Razi, an Israeli intelligence officer (played by Tsahi Halevi).

Like the true situation in the region, this is a game without winners. Razi honestly cares about Sanfur, but this care should always be secondary to his real goal--finding the leaders of Hamas. Sanfur's brother is an important Hamas leader, so the plan is to have Sanfur lead the Israelis to the brother, who is the person they want to capture or kill.

As would be expected, nothing goes as planned. One horrible situation replaces another horrible situation. In fact, this is one of the few films I've seen where there is no quiet, safe moment. If I am remembering correctly, no one ever smiles or relaxes. (Razi's wife has the thankless role of telling him, "Be careful, Razi." We never get to see any real affection between them.)

I'm not an expert in the situation in the area, so I can't comment about the movie's authenticity. To my non-expert eye, the movie looked very realistic. Grim and realistic.

It's worth seeing this film because it is extremely well constructed and well acted. However, just watch it with the understanding that you won't leave the theater--or eject the DVD--in a happy frame of mind.

The movie will work well on DVD, but we were fortunate enough to see it on the large screen at the fine Dryden Theatre as part of the outstanding Rochester Jewish Film Festival.


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