On my upcoming lecture tour, I have been asked to offer one presentation on adolescents in Israel. Therefore, I decided that it was time for me to see one of last year's feature films on the subject that I had missed – Eli and Ben, direction and screenplay by Ori Ravid (2008).
The film is about corruption in Israeli society, as seen through the eyes of Eli, a savvy 12-year-old from Herzliyah, whose personal moral standards are unabashedly high and he demands the same of others.
Eli is shocked when his father, the town architect, is arrested for bribe-taking. At school, Eli is a bit of a fool-around, playing practical jokes, hanging out with some of the trouble-makers and bullies. When one of the big shots violently attacks another pupil, Eli discovers that he was not punished because his father had bought a rather expensive gift for the school principal. Even though he is endangering himself, Eli decides to expose this form of corruption in the school newspaper.
Matters become complex and tension builds when a tentative relationship develops between Eli and the police investigator assigned to his father's case. However Eli is adamantly protective of his father and assumes that he is innocent of the charges against him.
The film is available for rental and purchase from Hedva Goldschmidt at Go2Films.