"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.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Queen Khantarisha

Queen Khantarisha, directed by Israela Shaer Meoded (2009) is a fascinating documentary portrait of two creative, expressive and articulate women, both mature writers of Yemenite background. It is also a film about self-expression, feminism and gender issues of the older religious generation, about love, disappointment, the boundaries of sexuality and the burden of being a woman in a traditional society.
Nomi Amrani writes the lyrics for popular love songs in the Yemenite language for a pop singer who performs at weddings and clubs. While her husband lingers in the background, she talks openly about having been married at the age of 9, while she was still at school and still playing jump-rope. She says she never experienced love and she writes her songs out of disappointment rather than experience.
Bracha Seri is a poet and writer who talks about the loss of her academic and intellectual dreams when she had her two children. She writes about rape, rebellion, fantasy and sexuality. Together with her daughter, Nitzi (with whom she has a stormy yet loving relationship), she performs a public reading of an alternative Purim shpiel (play) that she has written. The title of her shpiel is Queen Khantarisha – The Ridiculous Queen.
The film was screened in the category "In the Spirit of Freedom" at the Jerusalem International Film Festival (July 2009) and won an award in the documentary competition at the International Women's Film Festival held in Rehovot, Israel (September 2009).
A documentary, 53 minutes, the film is available from the producer, Osnat Trabelsi, at Trabelsi Productions.
Thank you to Ellen Simon for drawing my attention to this very special film!

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