Faces of Israel: New Israeli Cinema [4 Discs] [DVD]
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$39.99
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Overview

Special Features

  • Includes 4 short films, each selected to complement the feature films they accompany:
  • Ali & The Ball: dir. by Alex Holmes
  • Grandmothers: dir. by Michael Wahrmann
  • In The Box: dir. by Michal Struss
  • Tell Your Children: dir. by András Salamon
  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

For My Father
A man prepared to commit a profound act of hatred unexpectedly discovers compassion and understanding in this drama from Israeli filmmaker Dror Zahavi. Tarek (Shredi Jabarin) is an Arab man in his early twenties who left behind a promising career in soccer to join a radical terrorist group. Tarek volunteers to be a suicide bomber and travels from Tulkarem to Tel Aviv, planning to explode himself in the Carmel Market on a busy Saturday morning. However, Tarek's bomb turns out to be a dud, and he's left stranded with nowhere to go. Looking for a place to spend the night, Tarek is befriended by Katz (Shlomo Vishinsky), an aging electrician who lost his only son to fighting against the Arab states. As the day wears on, Tarek meets Keren (Hili Yalon), a woman who was raised in an ultra-Orthodox household and left her family behind in search of her own freedom. Tarek finds a kindred spirit in Keren and acceptance in Katz, forcing him to reexamine the choices that brought him to Tel Aviv in the first place. Sof Shavua Be-Tel Aviv (aka For My Father) received its North American premiere at the 2008 Montreal World Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Seven Minutes In Heaven
A woman's brush with death forces her to re-examine her past and present in this drama from Israel. Galia (Reymond Amsalem) was riding a city bus when a suicide bomber on board set off an explosive device. While Galia survived the bombing, she suffered severe burns and injuries and was declared clinically dead for seven minutes. While Galia's body has been healing steadily, her mind is still struggling to make sense of what happened; she has no memory of the terrible day, and can only piece together nightmarish flashes of the chaotic events. Itzik (Benjamin Jagendorf) is a seminarian who was on hand to help the injured on the day of the explosion, and he attempts to counsel Galia, helping her put together the shards of her memory and explain his theory that the souls of people who have briefly been "dead" often have trouble reacquainting themselves after they've traveled outside the body. As Galia ponders these questions about her life and her spirit, she finds comfort in her new friendship with Boaz (Eldad Fribas). Sheva Dakot Be Gan Eden (aka Seven Minutes In Heaven) was the first feature film from director Omri Givon. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Grandmothers
Ali and the Ball
Campfire
A woman seeking to embrace both her faith and her culture finds that neither is as simple as she imagined in this drama from Israel. It's 1981, and Rachel (Michaela Eshet) has become a single mother of two teenage girls after the unexpected death of her husband. Looking for a new identity as she starts her life again, Rachael decides to pull up roots and leave Jerusalem for a new settlement on the West Bank. Rachel's daughters have become acclimated to city life and are unenthusiastic about their mother's decision, but that doesn't change her mind. However, Rachel's neighbors soon make their own feelings felt; they obviously aren't happy with the prospect of a single mother living in their community, and she soon finds herself subjected with any number of matchmaking opportunities from fiftysomething men. More seriously, daughters Esti (Maya Maron) and Tami (Hani Furstenberg) don't feel safe or accepted in their new environment, especially Tami, who has a traumatic experience while on a camping trip with a Zionist youth organization. Campfire was the winner five Israeli Academy Awards in 2005, including Best Picture. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

In the Box
Tell Your Children
The Human Resources Manager
A mid-level businessman learns something about human nature and himself when he's given an unusual assignment in this comedy drama from Israeli filmmaker Eran Riklis. Yulia (Galina Ozerner) is a longtime employee at a major baking company in Jerusalem, but when she stops coming to work, it's two weeks before anyone thinks to look into her absence. As it happens, Yulia, a Russian émigré, died in a politically oriented bombing, and a journalist covering the story is preparing an inflammatory piece that criticizes the bakery for their lack of compassion toward an employee. The situation becomes all the more embarrassing when it's discovered Yulia had been fired from her job but was still getting paid thanks to the actions of an employee who fancied her. Determined to keep the bakery from getting a black eye in the press, the owner of the company (Gila Almagor) orders her human resources manager (Mark Ivanir) to pick up Yulia's remains and escort them back to her family in Russia. As the manager meets a variety of people who had some connection with Yulia, it forces him to think about his own relationships with others and the ways he's disappointed his own wife and children. The Human Resources Manager was an official selection at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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