Jaffa (2009) Poster


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An excellent and moving drama
cl77723 February 2010
Jaffa, an Israeli film whose title refers to a part of Tel Aviv, is an excellent and moving drama. I wish movies like this got more press and had more fame. The story is sad, realistic and compelling.

The movie begins in the family owned garage of an Israeli family, where father, son Meir, and daughter Mali, work alongside a young Palestinian named Toufik. Meir is not the model son- rebellious, angry, ungrateful and disrespectful towards his parents and everybody else, he steals the attention from his quiet younger sister. No one suspects that she is having a love affair with Toufik and that they are secretly planning on getting married.

Religious and other tensions start building between the two young men, Meir and Toufik, and the outcome is shocking and devastating. Mali makes an extremely difficult sacrifice, depriving herself of a normal life by keeping hidden a truth which only she knows.

All of the actors are magnificent. The father is particularly memorable, always kind, trying at times to be a little bit stern, understanding of everyone throughout the film until his final, harsh condemnation. The ending is extremely powerful- completely unexpected and expected at the same time. Mali finally makes a choice for herself and we are left hoping that her life will be a happy one.

This film brought me to tears on several occasions. I watched it without Fabio as I wasn't sure what to expect and now highly recommend it to him and all of my readers.

My rating: 9/10 Please visit http://paulinasmovies.blogspot.com and become a follower to read more reviews!
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Would You Like Some Tahini To Go With Your Existentialism?
druid333-222 April 2010
If you ever thought dysfunctional families are only the stuff that American films are made of...guess again. 'Jaffa' is a sad tale of just such a dysfunctional family living in one of the oldest continuing sea port towns in Isreal,dating back to the Bronze age. It tells the story of the Wolf family. Reuven,the father of the brood,owns & operates a small garage that employs his son,Meir,a young man with a chip on his shoulder that's the size of the middle east,his daughter,Mali,who seems to be the invisible member of the family,Tawfig,an Arab,who is in love with Mali,and Tawfig's father. Osnat,who is the Mother of Meir & Mali,who is something of a control fanatic,runs the household with an iron hand. Meir harbors a bitter resentment to having to work in the garage,when he would rather just sit around,smoke cigarettes & drink coffee,as well as a hatred of Tawfig,and all Arabs in general. He is constantly arguing with his family & is always spoiling for a fight. When he picks a fight with Tawfig,and is accidentally killed in that fight,Tawfig ends up doing a nine year stretch in prison. Mali discovers she is three months pregnant with Tawfig's baby,and attempts to get an abortion. What transpires from here on is what the director calls an homage to Egyptian cinema (the plot line,or at least elements of it surely seems to be lifted from one of Oum Kalsoum's songs). Many hidden secrets are revealed,as well as tears shed. Keren Yedaya ('Or') directs & co writes the screenplay (with Ilia Ben Porat),with a flair for the occasional sojourn into soapsuds. Dana Ivgy is Mali,who turns in a bravura acting job. Ronit Elkabetz is her controlling mother,Osnat,in a role that just smacks of "not nice person". Moni Moshonov is Reuven, a brow beaten man who has had most of the man beaten out of him by his shrewish wife,Osnat,and who just shrugs his way thru life. Roy Assaf absolutely drips with contempt as Mali's younger brother,Meir,and Mahmoud Shalaby plays Mali's love interest,Tawfig. The rest of the splendid cast is rounded out by Hussein Yassin Mahajneh,Lily Ivgy, Zenabh Mahrab & Dalya Beger. If you enjoy a well written,directed & acted drama,look no further. Spoken in Hebrew & Arabic with English subtitles. Not rated by the MPAA,this film contains outbursts of crude language,intimations of adult content (but nothing graphically depicted on screen),and a moment of sudden,bloody violence
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finely crafted moving story
dangabriel28 March 2011
The title, Jaffa, gives us only a location. In the suburbs of Tel-Aviv, Jaffa is a place of biblical mention, there are some saying it is derived from the name Japheth, son of Noah. It currently has a mixed population, more than a third are Israeli Arabs.

Keren Yedaya gifts us again a remarkable experience, presenting a difficult moral story from a neutral point of view, unbiased and yet strongly moving. The script is by Yedaya and Ben Porat, the cast is -as most Israeli movies-impeccable. Dana Ivgy, Ronit Elkabetz (an amazing bandwidth actress, "Late Marriage"2001 "The Band's visit"-2007), Ro'i Asaf, Mahmoud Shalaby give solidly credible performances. Whichever side of the story you may be, either the touching romance against all odds or the practical considerations of secular enmity, at the end you will reflect at length, and be enriched by this film.

With precise timing and increasing emotional leverage, Yedaya mounts a gradual increase in tension, a catastrophe and then gives us more: the wonderful struggle within the future mother. Mali (Dana Ivgy) is caught between her family, her religion and her other family, the one she dreamed of creating... but she must tell her parents about the child's father.

Scenes of great emotional intensity are shot in vignettes brimming with concealed pain... At the end of the film, the debate is far from close, but the hope, the child of both Israeli and Arab is something we have in front of us, unmistakenly. Great music by Shushan runs plangently through the end credits, rightly nominated to a Camera d'Or at Cannes film festival.

Read my other reviews at: https://sites.google.com/site/dan4gabriel/home
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Excellent Movie - very moving
benbree27 November 2010
Wow! This is an excellent movie and does a great job of demonstrating love through all sorts of challenges. I really enjoyed the performance by Ronit Elkabetz as I have seen her in "The Band's Visit". It was fun to watch. There was also a great performance by Dana Ivgy, who portrayed Mali Wolf. She appeared so innocent and believable as the daughter who falls for a Palestinian worker and decides to keep it a secret from her family - even after becoming pregnant.

While I have no idea if it represented the relationships between Jews and Palestines, I really hope that these type of relationships happen each and every day in their world. There is a chance for peace!!
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Very realistic
Cinish Narayanan9 October 2012
The realism. The complexity of the plot and in spite of the complexity, the movie had good integrity. Amazing acting. Sat through rooted to my seat as if I was watching a thriller and I can't even remember which thriller. The love. Most of the characters are very mature and portray largeness of heart. Inspite, there are certain differences that you just can't break. These get built into the psyche purely based on your circumstance. The racial hostility between a jew and an arab makes sense to a jew and an arab but not to an Indian. The actors. There were so many actors who have done excellent excellent work. The Arab, the nonchalance with which he performs, he almost looks like he strayed into the camera field without knowing. The way he comes out of jail and his expression changes as he sees his brothers. None of the theatrics, just a smile. The father has done a great job. The mother. The sister. The brother - every one. To me, there is no actor in the movie except may be the Arab's mother and sister. The direction is excellent too. I think most of the movie is shot in low lighting. The setting is also very dry. The movie felt so real, It could pass off as a documentary.However, there were challenging shots for actors to perform too. It was great story telling - uncomplicated technique. The viewer is given full time to appreciate the situation. It is not like those Hollywood movies where one wacky dialogue you miss , you miss the plot and then you go back and admire - oh what a tricky way to convey. Nonsense. This one was direct. Dil Se. You can feel the warmth of the relationships in spite of the fact that no elaborate situation has been built artificially to convey this
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Family secrets: they happen everywhere
Seemp deHond6 September 2010
For once let's just separate the politics from the movie reviews for once when reviewing titles from anywhere in the middle east or war zones. This is a typical love story as they are made all over the world and.... boy is it worth watching.

When the spoiled and jealous son of Reuvens body shop/garage provokes one of the mechanics Toufik one time to many all lives involved are forced to change. Toufik and the daughter of the owner Mali have their own secrets and over time things can no longer be hidden.

It's a solid love story, drama. Well acted, well done. No big political issues or statements here. Just a very solid drama, well told, well acted with likable characters. Thats good enough already without political statement.
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Jaffa Film Review: Drama Foreign: Israel, 2010
bdsaustin14 April 2010
Israel is receiving a storm of criticism these days for its merciless treatment of Palestinians under occupation. Often overlooked are the Palestinians who live on the Israeli side of the apartheid wall, the Arab-Israelis of Palestinian descent. Amidst this storm of criticism arrives the movie Jaffa. What Jaffa does for both Jews and Arabs in Israel is portray them as human. Palestinians are not cast as terrorists or as suppressed peasants. Jews are not cast as brainy but thrifty business moguls.

Instead the moviegoer gets to look into the lives of these two groups of people and judge for themselves.

Jaffa does not, however, show the true nasty side of Israel; it ignores the fact that tens of miles away, Palestinians are being completely deprived of their basic human rights, squeezed together behind a cruel apartheid wall by Israel.

Is Israel even ready for a movie like Jaffa? I will argue that yes, it is time for Israelis to accept Palestinians, as people deserving of equal rights in a society that has so long denied them that. Thank you, Keron Yedaya, for what the world hopes is just the first of many Israeli made movies to come that give fair treatment to Arab-Israelis of Palestinian descent.
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could have been a lot better
eyesh-978356 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Contains spoiler

The movie has big hole in its story.It ignores the facts the the death was an accident CAUSED by the brother. And when the writer had a great moment to air all of it out ( Fairness, religion, prejudice ...) they chickened out. WHAT A SHAME. Waset of a great drama., The ending is moving. How about another line, the daughter could have blamed the son and and her brother for the fact that he ruined her life, and was forced to have a child grow without a father. Acting is good. Also he is not a Palestinian , I jaffa is a mix of Jewish and Arabs. they do not call them self Palestinian.
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Jaffa is a masterpiece.
moviecollector914 September 2013
Imagine a film with an in depth story that will keep you guessing. Imagine a film that has exceptional acting and interesting characters. Imagine a film that is just as gritty as it is beautiful. Imagine Jaffa, one of the greatest films you will ever have the pleasure of seeing.

Jaffa tells a remarkable story about a dysfunctional Israeli family that owns an automotive repair shop. The family's problems drive the story to places that you would never expect it to go. This is not a typical film at all. Just when you think you have it figured out, it throws a curve ball and leaves your jaw wide open. Jaffa is full of secrets, lies and betrayal that will keep you entertained until the credits roll.

Think of all the elements that make a movie great. Jaffa has all of those elements maxed out. It's a must see film for anyone that likes movies. It's a masterpiece.
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slight sophomore slump
Martin Teller7 June 2011
I was fond of Keren Yedaya's first feature, Or, so I was looking forward to her second. I found it a bit underwhelming. Dana Igvy returns as the lead, but here her performance is less impressive. I think what I missed most was the naturalistic tone, this felt more contrived and artificial. Perhaps this would have been less problematic if the film had some kind of style to it, but it's rather flat. Despite this, it's not a bad movie... the characterizations are reasonably compelling and so forth. It just didn't really grab me, and I don't think it adds all that much to the Israel-Palestine discussion. Still, I'm interested in what else Yedaya has to offer.
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Excellent movie, while totally unrealistic.
vivarto15 July 2012
Leftist Israelis make up this fantasies. They invent a fake reality of Arab - Israeli love and understanding. In this respect this movie is just like the the "Egyptian Band".

In reality in Jaffa nobody calls Israeli Arabs "Palestinians" both Jews and Arabs refer to them as "Arabs".

The marriages between Arabs and Jews are rare, and only extremely rare survive beyond just a few years.

The hope that this movie is trying to instill in the hearts of the naive viewers is false.

In summary: a tragic waste of talent to make such a false movie.
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