Eyal, an Israeli Mossad agent, is given the mission to track down and kill the very old Alfred Himmelman, an ex-Nazi officer, who might still be alive. Pretending to be a tourist guide, he befriends his grandson Axel, in Israel to visit his sister Pia. The two men set out on a tour of the country during which, Axel challenges Eyal's values.Written by
Sujit R. Varma (with edits by Nelson Ricardo)
The name of the tour company which Eyal fronts for is Horizon Tours. See more »
When Eyal goes to Alex and Pia's hotel in Tel Aviv to pick them up, the hotel seen in the establishing shot is the Renaissance Hotel. However, the next shot of them actually walking out of the hotel has them walking under a sign and past security barricades that all say Sheraton Moriah Hotel. See more »
[tries to walk on the sea and falls in]
Bravo. You did it.
You don't understand. You can't just come to the Sea of Galilee and start walking on water. If you could, everybody would be doing it. You need to prepare yourself.
And how would you do that? Please enlighten me.
Well, you need to completely purify yourself. Your heart needs to be like it's clean from the inside: no negativity, no bad thoughts.
And then you can walk on water. I'm sure of it.
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Two Opposite Men Unpredictably Learn A Very Personal Detente
"Walk on Water" piles layers of personal, family, religious, cultural, historical, employment, geopolitical, sexual, geographical, guilt and responsibility issues on two men -- and still makes it work as the gripping story of two individuals whose lives affect each other.
I saw an interview with director Eytan Fox where he said he wanted to imagine the two most opposite men possible and make them deal with each other. With writer Gal Uchovsky, he focuses on two men who are almost philosophical constructs of dissimilarity yet they come across as real people whose actions and reactions are unpredictable.
The central character Eyal is the quintessential sabra (Israeli-born native), a craggy, macho Mossad agent unable to discuss his feelings about his ravaged marriage, a child of a Holocaust survivor, fatigued with terrorist attacks and revenge, but in the opening moments efficiently murders a Hamas leader.
He is sent by his mentor/father figure on a rogue mission that annoys him in every possible way -- going undercover to gain the confidence of a young German fully integrated into the EU whose every opinion, action, lifestyle and family background he despises, a continental take on "Donnie Brasco." They personify Faulkner's dictum that "The past is never dead. It's never even past." as each man learns that the measure of a man is not just what he does today and did yesterday, but the genetics and heritage that make up his identity and does influence his choices -- choices that we hold our breaths to see played out.
Lior Ashkenazi captures the screen projecting the relaxed casualness of male camaraderie comfortable from years in the military and then his reactions as he gradually realizes he's been thrust into more complex situations.
Though the situations get a bit too artfully complicated when their somewhat picaresque adventures range from the German's kibbutznik sister to Palestinians to skinheads and a somewhat unnecessary though emotionally satisfying coda, the dialog does refrain from a couple of the most obvious ironies as each man gradually reveals their true nature to each other.
Hearing "Achtung!" amidst Israeli folk dancing is among the unusual juxtapositions in a movie where the characters can only communicate across the divides in English, amidst the three languages they speak among themselves.
While the original music by Ivri Lider is particularly good at emphasizing the underlying emotional content and the diverse cultural environs they find themselves in, the selection of popular music they are listening to adds an additional level of knowing commentary, from the agent's preference for Bruce Springsteen, the avatar of rock 'n' masculinity (particularly the symbolism of him favoring "Tunnel of Love"), to European pop and oldies novelty songs to Israeli folk and popular songs, including the agent's great discomfort at having to translate a poignant romantic song from the Hebrew.
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