"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.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Through My Eyes – Holy Helena

Through My Eyes - Stories by Galilee Youths is a new personal and authentic documentary series, consisting of 10 chapters made by Arab and Jewish teens in the Galilee, each telling his own story. The producers gave young people a camera and the accompaniment of a filmmaking advisor, to document their own lives, dreams and problems.

The chapter, Holy Helena, which premiered at the DOCAVIV festival this week, is created by Helena Wulf in which she tells her own story, with the coaching and assistance of Micha Livne as the advisor. At the premiere screening at DOCAVIV (May 11,2010), Michal Livne described this as a special genre. "It's empowering at the same time that it helped her overcome issues. It pushes the boundaries of documentary filmmaking and it helped Helena grapple with her own life."

Helena is a student at a boarding school in Carmiel. She's the oldest child in her immigrant family of 8 kids and there are 5 of them at the boarding school. She is the big sister, taking care of all of them, sort of like a mother hen. On weekends, they go home to their Mom in Nahariya, but she's not very loving and doesn't seem to be a real stakeholder in their lives. Helena is a very strong figure and a very courageous young woman, not afraid to expose her frustrations. Perhaps her willingness to tell her own story and discuss her problems is her own mechanism in helping herself to cope.

The film is made with great drama, intimacy, pacing and a real climax. Helena herself came to the screening and told us that she's currently serving in the army.

The film series is available from Profile Productions Ltd.

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