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Harmonia (2016)

Sad Sarah, the harpist of the Jerusalem Philharmonic ,is married to Abraham the conductor of the orchestra. They have no children. When Hagar, a young horn-player from East Jerusalem joins ... See full summary »

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Sad Sarah, the harpist of the Jerusalem Philharmonic ,is married to Abraham the conductor of the orchestra. They have no children. When Hagar, a young horn-player from East Jerusalem joins the Western side Orchestra, Sarah's world changes. The two women are irresistibly attracted to each other, developing a unique friendship that is challenged when Hagar offers Sarah to have a baby for her, from Abraham. When the baby is born, Hagar leaves the orchestra and the newborn child with Sarah and Abraham. Twelve years pass. Ben is 12, a phenomenal pianist, yet wild and uncontrollable. Ben resists all his mother's (Sarah) efforts to impose discipline upon him. Something is wrong, he feels it deep inside. At the same time Sarah gets pregnant at her late forties, and gives birth to Isaac. When Isaac is 3, it is the right time for Hagar to return to the orchestra. The reunion of Hagar and Sarah is sweet yet sour. Ben was never told the truth about the way he was brought to the world. When the ...

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Genesis 16-21 in contemporary Jerusalem
17 July 2017 | by See all my reviews

Harmonia (2016) is an Israeli film written and directed by Ori Sivan. The film is based directly on the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar, played out in contemporary Jerusalem.

Alon Aboutboul plays Abraham, the handsome and charismatic conductor of the Jerusalem Philharmonic Orchestra. Tali Sharon portrays his wife Sarah, who is the orchestra's harpist. Yanna Yossef plays Hagar, who joins the orchestra as a French horn player.

As in the bible, Sarah cannot have children. (In the movie, she can conceive, but each pregnancy ends in miscarriage.) She suggests to Abraham that he conceive a child by Hagar, and this is what happens. The rest of the plot progresses from that point.

For truth in reviewing, I have to state that Tali Sharon and Yanna Yossef are two of the most beautiful women on the planet. (When we first see Yanna Yossef, we are supposed to understand that she's mousy and inhibited. No one is fooled. We all know she will blossom.)

Anyway, the beauty of the two female leads isn't a problem. The Genesis passage doesn't comment on the appearance of the two women. We only know that Sarah is older than Hagar, which is true in the movie. (Sharon is 37, Yosef is 28).

The acting of all three leads is superb. The music in the film is wonderful, and the cinematography is great. The plot really worked for me. It worked not just as a biblical adaptation, but as a contemporary story as well.

We watched this movie at the beautiful JCC Hart Theater, as part of the Rochester International Jewish Film Festival. The RIJFF presented hit after hit after hit. We saw 12 movies, most of which I rated either 9 or 10. If you live in Upstate New York, I suggest that you get onto the RIJFF mailing list, because some of the movies will be re-shown during the next 12 months. The 2018 RIJFF will probably be as good or better. Start planning now!


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