19 user 17 critic

The Holy Land (2001)

R | | Drama | 2001 (Israel)
A coming-of-age saga set against the tense backdrop of Arab-Israeli politics. Mendy is a young Rabbinical student whose mind is too full of curiosity about the world that exists outside the... See full summary »


Eitan Gorlin


Eitan Gorlin
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Oren Rehany ... Mendy
Tchelet Semel ... Natasha "Sasha" Sonsova
Saul Stein ... Mike
Albert Iluz ... Razi
Aryeh Moskona ... The Exterminator (as Ariel Moskuna)
Alon Dahan ... Reb Nocham (Mendy's Rabbi)
Mosko Alkalai ... Professor Milan (as Moscu Alcalay)
Liat Bein ... Mendy's Mother
Yehoyachin Friedlander Yehoyachin Friedlander ... Mendy's Father
Lanny Shahaf Lanny Shahaf ... Exterminator's Wife
Lupo Berkowitch ... Daryl (as Lupo Berkowitz)
Aryeh Hasfari Aryeh Hasfari ... Jamal (schoolboy) (as Arie Hassfari)
Harel Noff Harel Noff ... Hobo Priest
Icho Avital ... Bar Patron
Louise Asher Louise Asher ... Screaming Lady


A coming-of-age saga set against the tense backdrop of Arab-Israeli politics. Mendy is a young Rabbinical student whose mind is too full of curiosity about the world that exists outside the restrictions of Orthodox Judaism. Recognizing his distraction, Mendy's teacher suggests that he visit a prostitute to get it out of his system. But on a fateful night, when he meets Sacha, a captivating Russian expatriate, who works in a Tel Aviv bordello, his appetite for outside experience only grows stronger. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, language and some drug use | See all certifications »





English | Arabic | Russian | Hebrew

Release Date:

2001 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

Eretz HaKodesh See more »

Filming Locations:

Tel Aviv, Israel See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,014, 13 July 2003

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Featured in The 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Simply great and important film
5 July 2009 | by alba500See all my reviews

No point retelling the plot. The plot is not that important. This film shows true life. Warts and all. The director is not trying to take sides (Arab or Jew), he is not trying to lecture anybody. He just shows a snapshot of life in Israel. He is showing interaction between different people of different backgrounds. The actors are not very known, but all play very well. Acting is superb and the action is completely unpredictable. It is not a "Hollywood" movie so do not expect a typical formula with a happy end. This is a must see important film.

PS: Somebody complained in here about kids used as suicide bombers. In fact this does happen. I remember in the press about a year ago they caught a 13 year old boy all rigged up with bombs at a border crossing. There were hundreds of suicide bombings and attempted bombings. Whether this ruins somebody comfortable theory of this conflict or not, this is the fact of life.

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