Abu el Banat (1973) Poster

(1973)

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A solo turn ruined by elaboration
Nozz14 October 2008
Abou al Banat grew out of a monologue that Shai K. Ophir would perform. Ophir was trained in the French pantomime tradition; throughout the movie you can notice the straightness of his back, the panache of every movement. On the stage he didn't need props; he could make you see what wasn't there. The movie surrounds Ophir with reality and in that perspective, Abou al Banat becomes a less sympathetic character. The fault may be in Moshe Mizrahi's fondness for soap opera and his sympathy with the female point of view. Whatever the reason, the rich, insensitive Abou al Banat fails where another Ophir character-- the naive, downtrodden Policeman Azulai in the movie of that name-- succeeded: in eliciting warm feelings from the audience.
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Blurb.
Gerald A. DeLuca12 December 2001
DAUGHTERS, DAUGHTERS! is an Israeli film in Hebrew with English subtitles that was directed by the same man (Moshe Misrahi) who gave us the very lovely I LOVE YOU, ROSA and THE HOUSE ON CHELOUCHE STREET. The central theme reflects the Middle-Eastern male-dominated culture, but anyone can sympathize with Shabtai, the owner of orange groves and a factory in Tel-Aviv, who has a large house, a large wife, and eight daughters. Shabtai wants a son. He goes through every conceivable (!) consultation and ritual, much of it ridiculous superstition, to guarantee that his next child by wife Zaharira Harifai will be a boy. He needs a male heir and feels that without one he will be less of a man. A child is born, another daughter of course. Disappointed and embittered he cruelly casts off his wife, and only when he is forced to care for his unwanted infant daughter and when his best friend gets his oldest daughter pregnant, does he begin to take a sharper look at his own stupidities. The movie is ingratiating, earthy, funny. Particular credit must go to the girls who play Shabtai's daughters, especially to Michal Bat-Adam as the oldest, who also gives birth to a daughter at the film's conclusion. Michal Bat-Adam was the fine actress of I LOVE YOU, ROSA. The despairing father Shabtai is played by Shai K. Ophir.
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