"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.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Family Relationships

The film Off-White Lies  אורחים לרגע directed by Maya Kenig, is about family relationships.  

The story provides a look at the relationship between an unemployed father (Gur Bentwich) and his 13-year-old daughter, Libby.  It is the summer of 2006, just at the beginning of the Second War in Lebanon, which took place both in Southern Lebanon and in the north of Israel.   

Libby, who has been living in California with her mother and her mother's new husband, comes back to Israel to be with her father.  She slowly discovers things about her father – he's homeless, the car that they've been using is borrowed, and he's penniless. But he's creative and he likes to invent crazy things, and he comes up with a solution to the fact that they have nowhere to live. 

They apply and are taken in as "refugees" from the north by an affluent family in a beautiful suburb of Jerusalem with old houses, colorful alleyways and groups of tourists wandering through the streets.

As the film develops, the relationship between father and daughter grows and develops.  At the same time, the father begins a professional partnership with the father of the hosting family and a sexual one with the mother.  Meanwhile, Libby becomes involved with their 18-year-old son. 

The title of the film reflects the father's "creative" use of facts.  His lies aren't "white" lies, rather they are "off-white", because he stretches the facts not to hurt anyone but to suit himself. The success and energy of this quirky film is based entirely on Gur Bentwich's charming portrayal of the eccentric father.  For his role in this film, he won the award for Best Actor in an Israeli feature film at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2011.   

Off-White Lies is available from Gum Films, info@gumfilms.com

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