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I was very moved by Sharqiya which we just watched on Israeli TV. It depicts the intolerable situation of the leading characters, a young Bedouin couple and the husband's brother who live in a shack built on area which isn't recognized by the Israeli government and for which the courts have already issued a demolition order.
The Bedouins have lived there for many years but have no papers to prove ownership. The Israeli government has offered financial compensation for the land if they agree to move to one of the towns already built for them in the area but they are emotionally unable to accept this possibility.
The film is simple but very effective. Congratulations to all the production team and in particular to the excellent actors portraying the three leading characters - Ednan Abu Muhrab, Maisa Abd Elhadi and Ednan Abu Wadi. We can only hope that this tragic situation can be resolved to the benefit of the Bedouin citizens of the Negev, Israel.
Moja Australia (2011)
Very enjoyable film
We watched My Australia on Channel I, Israel, and were very impressed by the film. The acting of all the cast is excellent but special praise must go to Igor Obloza, Lukasz Sikora and Aleksandra Andrzej as the Polish family trying to make roots in Israel.
Igor, who is presumably only 10 - 11 years old, is one of the finest child actors I have ever seen. I am sure we will see more of him in the future as an adult actor. The director recaptures Israel of the 1960s in a very accurate way. The feelings of the children as they travel from an anti-semitic Poland to Israel are captured brilliantly.
Kudos to the director and production for this charming film.
The Borgias (2011)
I have only seen the first two episodes of The Borgias but am already deeply immersed in this brilliant series.
The production is beautifully set and the atmosphere of the period is captured with detail and accuracy. The wonderful cast, led by the superb Jeremy Irons, is excellent and as good as I have ever seen in a production of this kind.
This series proves once more that good television is superior to most of the films produced today. This is a must for anyone who enjoys a fascinating story, based on real history, and an ensemble cast of actors chosen with care. Highly recommended.
The King's Speech (2010)
I won't go into detail about THE KING'S SPEECH after so many reviews in the media. I just wanted to say that this is a gem of a film, a MUST for anyone who enjoys top class British drama at its very best. The acting of the superb cast is as it should be - without fault. Colin Firth gives the performance of a lifetime and is a worthy candidate for the highest acting awards. I was also very impressed by Helena Bonham-Carter, who looks exactly like the Duchess of York, Guy Pearce, an amazing Duke of Windsor and the wonderful Geoffrey Rush, always so good in any part he plays. It is a pleasure to see that the British cinema is still producing films of this quality.
I saw this film at one of the first showings in a Tel-Aviv, Israel suburb. The cinema was completely full and the audience was completely silent throughout the film (something that doesn't happen very often!). At the end of the showing the audience warmly applauded this masterpiece.
Barney's Version (2010)
I just saw this wonderful film which is an amazing adaption to Richler's story. The acting of the entire cast is extraordinary with Paul Giamatti, Rosamund Pike, Minnie Driver and the great Dustin Hoffman giving superlative performances. I sat in a small art-house cinema in a suburb of Tel-Aviv, Israel and the quite large audience (for a Saturday afternoon) enjoyed the film in total silence. You could have heard a pin drop (and that doesn't happen very often!).
I note that some reviewers were offended by the fact that some of the characters were unpleasant Jews. Well, that happens in life and as a Jew I wasn't offended one little bit. Like every other people we have nice and not nice people and I found the film to be very truthful, very funny and also very sad. An exceptional achievement!
Ajami is the first full length feature film directed by two young Israelis Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani.
They have produced an extraordinary film which features five separate stories set in Ajami, a poor Arab neighborhood situated in the city of Tel-Aviv/Yafo. The many characters are played mostly by non professionals, i.e. are not working actors, and the result gives a documentary feel to the film. Amazingly the level of acting is very high and ensures that the film is completely believable and absorbing from beginning to end. Perhaps the only drawback is the limited time available to develop each main character. The viewer wants to know more about them and their lives but time is limited.
The film shows a part of Israeli society rarely shown in Israeli films (Arab Moslem and Arab Christian families living in Ajami) and the makers are to be commended for their achievement in showing a rather hidden side of our society.