"World Cinema: Israel"

My book, "World Cinema: Israel" (originally published in 1996) is available from Amazon on "Kindle", with an in-depth chapter comparing and analyzing internationally acclaimed Israeli films up to 2010.

Want to see some of the best films of recent years? Just scroll down to "best films" to find listings of my recommendations.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Loss of Innocence - Lost Islands by Reshef Levy

One of the popular Israeli films of 2008 was Lost Islands, directed by Reshef Levy. This is a coming of age film with much more. On the one hand, notwithstanding the teen vulgarity, it is fun, filled with nostalgia and great period music. On the other, it is a film about loyalty and betrayal, and about broken dreams. The film is set in the early 80's and the narrative takes place on the background of the pull-out from Yamit, the bombing of the nuclear reactor in Iraq, and the beginning of the War in Lebanon.

Based loosely on the family story of the director, Reshef Levy, the film is anchored in his world, when he was growing up, and in his family home which was noisy and busy with his many brothers, but obviously he took liberties with the storyline! The Levy family of Kfar Saba has 5 sons. The story is about the relationship between two of the brothers – twins. Erez is the story-teller, standing on the side, observing. He loves his family and believes strongly in family loyalty. Michael Moshonov, the son of Moni Moshonov, won an Israeli "Ophir" prize for best actor for this role. Ofer (Oshri Cohen), the other twin, is always witty, saying what comes to mind, dreaming of becoming accepted into an elite commando unit. He is cool, the family prince.

Every family needs an armchair philosopher and their father (Shmil Ben Ari) is always offering advice. He tells the family that you should never give up your dreams. And at the end of the film he urges Erez to stop sacrificing for others, and to begin to put himself first.

According to the filmmaker, Reshef Levy, this is a film "about a period that is no longer, about innocence that has been lost." In fact, it is also about a period in which people learned that loyalty and sacrifice are not enough in life. Sometimes you have to put yourself first.

Lost Islands is being shown this week at the Los Angeles Israel Film Festival – check out the latest Israeli films being shown at www.la.israelfilmfestival.com

1 comment:

Ellen said...

You can imagine how we identified with the period piece, Lost Island, since we too lived in Israel in the early 1980s and we too had twin boys and we too had a family car that never fit our family and we too had an obsession with cacti --- and much much more.
On the surface, it's a film about betrayal in human relationships. But, on a deeper level, it's about learning to accept the layered complexities of our relationships with our loved ones, coping with betrayal, learning to leap for love.