"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.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Georgia My Love

Israel is a land of many cultures and traditions. People have immigrated from literally dozens and dozens of countries. For some reason, not all are treated equally and with respect. In fact, there is a strikingly negative stereotype surrounding the Jews who immigrated to Israel from Georgia (in the Caucasus) and it's not an easy stigma to grow up with.

The film, Georgia My Love (directed by Noga Gamlieli), takes a look at Maya, a 25-year-old woman who came to Israel at the age of 12. She is dedicated to reviving authentic Georgian culture and showing its beauty for all to enjoy. Maya works at a bridal salon doing make-up during the day. But after work she is transformed into an amazing singer who takes vocal lessons and is producing her own disk. She sings hauntingly beautiful songs of poetry and love.

Her sister, Manana, who has a little girl from a failed, arranged marriage, is a dancer, and they perform together.

Together with other members of their family and friends, the two talk about the ridicule they received in Israel as children who immigrated from Georgia and especially how people still make fun of their names.

Maya and Manana are two sisters, both very talented women performing beautiful, traditional melodies at cultural events in Israel. Two women on the road to success.

This documentary (2007, 53 minutes) is available from Dragomanfilms.

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