Aviva, a hard-working hotel cook in the northern Israeli town of Tiberias, is on the brink of finally fulfilling her lifelong dream. For years she kept her remarkable writing abilities ... See full summary »
In Israel's Central Prison, the security officer is corrupt, supplying drugs and stirring the hatred between Jewish and Arab prisoners to his advantage. Uri, in for 12 years for armed ... See full summary »
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.
The new math teacher and new school principal discover the 16-year-old underachiever failing classes is really a genius, and the kid's own family's too busy relying on him to mend family fences to notice his brilliance either.
The year is 1965. Rachel Brener is one of 3 young Mossad agents team who caught "The Surgeon of Birkenau" - a Nazi monster who was never brought to trial in Israel. The official reason was ... See full summary »
The story is about two twin brothers, Azriel and Gavriel (both played by Yehuda Barkan). Azriel is a shy and religious Jew who works in a fruit shop in Jaffa. Gavriel, is a hoodlum and a ... See full summary »
Azulai is a policeman in Jaffa, whose incompetence is only matched by his soft-heartedness. His superiors want to send him to early retirement, but he would like to stay on the force, and ... See full summary »
The sharp, often hilarious satire that became the most successful film in Israeli history (until that time) is about new immigrants Sallah and his family, who are left in a shack near their... See full summary »
"The World Is Funny" has been running for several weeks now, so I guess it is even good enough to overcome a deceptive title. I can easily imagine audiences expecting something like a globe-hopping candid camera movie, but on the contrary the writer-director emphasizes that he is fictionally portraying the one little town of Tiberias and its particular eccentrics, and not always in a rib-tickling way at all. A device linking some of the characters is a story-writing class, and as a device it rings somewhat artificial, but I suppose that putting so many characters and relationships into two hours must require a little squeezing and shortcutting. Probably nothing can convey to non-Israeli viewers the cultural standing of the Gashashim, a trio who were to comedy and Tiberias in Israel what the Beatles were elsewhere to music and Liverpool. The title "The World Is Funny" comes from a catchphrase of the Gashashim, and a veteran of the trio is involved in one of the movie's subplots, playing himself and explaining to an ever-hopeful fan that now that one of the three has passed away, there will never be another performance. The many plot threads, amusing and tear-jerking by turn, mostly coalesce into the story of a single family and enlist the audience's sympathy despite the occasional creak of artificiality. The writer-director's love for Tiberias comes through-- perhaps more clearly than anything concrete distinguishing Tiberias from other towns, but it's an old principle that by concentrating conscientiously on something in particular the artist winds up touching on what's universal.
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