Eliezer and Uriel Shkolnik are father and son as well as rival professors in Talmudic Studies. When both men learn that Eliezer will be lauded for his work, their complicated relationship reaches a new peak.
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The story of a great rivalry between a father and son, both eccentric professors in the Talmud department of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The son has an addictive dependency on the embrace and accolades that the establishment provides, while his father is a stubborn purist with a fear and profound revulsion for what the establishment stands for, yet beneath his contempt lies a desperate thirst for some kind of recognition. The Israel Prize, Israel's most prestigious national award, is the jewel that brings these two to a final, bitter confrontation.Written by
The opening title card doesn't appear on screen until 35 minutes into the film. See more »
At around 38:00, when Uriel enters the room that the committee is meeting in for the first time, he can open and close the door easily. But when he returns with a chair a few seconds later, suddenly there's not enough space to close it, despite his chair not being in the way. See more »
I'll illustrate it for you. Say we both deal with potsherds. Yes? Broken pottery? One of us examines these potsherds, cleans them meticulously, catalogs them, measures them scientifically and precisely, tries to decipher which period they're from, and who made them. And if he succeeds, he has done his work properly, and it has scientific value for generations. The other looks at the potsherds for a few seconds, sees they're more or less the same color, and immediately makes a pot out of them. ...
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The credits for the major cast and crew members all have the initial letters of their names in bold, echoing the plot device that causes the confusion between the father and son. See more »
Eliezer Shkolnik and his son Urien are both Talmudic researchers and professors in Jerusalem. Eliezer is bitter as his son receives wide acclaim from the Jewish Studies community. He spent most of his life working on a revolutionary take on an European version of the Talmud only to be scooped by an accidental discovery one month before publishing his own work. He toiled in his work alone. His class has one student. His most noteworthy accomplishment is a footnote in an important textbook. The father and son relationship has traveled a long and problematic road. Eliezer covets the Israel Prize above all else and one day, he gets a calls from the Minister of Education congratulating him. It is big news and then Uriel is told by the Ministry that the call was a mistake and he is the real winner. The head of the committee Grossman is an old foe of Eliezer.
This movie takes a small world and shows how the people in it treat this world as life and death. The opening sequence with Eliezer and the security guard is very compelling. Eliezer is a quietly bitter old man and that scene sets it all up. The problem is that he's not that charismatic as a character. Urien's struggles are more compelling. It's an intriguing premise but I don't find Eliezer lovable enough.
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