I loved Shemi Zarhin's newest film, The Kind Words, which just opened in cinemas in Israel. Shemi Zarhin is well-known for his wonderful films -- Aviva My Love, Funny World, Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi and Passover Fever. As in the others, this one is a rich and complex family drama, with in-depth quirky characters and comic elements.
The Kind Words is about a Jerusalem family. The mother is divorced from the father, who has found himself a younger wife. There are three grown children -- the married daughter who is in crisis because she continues to have multiple miscarriages, the married brother who is religious with three kids, and the younger gay brother. When the mother dies from a complication following surgery and their father reveals that he is unable to conceive children, the three siblings realize that they don't really know who they are. They set out to discover their biological father, traveling to Paris and to Marseille, slowly piecing together the story of their mother's past, working together to solve the mystery. Together they uncover so much about their mother -- her growing up in Algeria, her quirky sister living in Paris, and her estranged relationship with her parents -- and so much about themselves.
A film of charm, wit and irony, The Kind Words provides insight into issues of identity, family crisis, compromise and love. This is a top notch film -- great directing, acting and editing with well-developed characters. The Jerusalem/Paris/Marseille venues are compelling and rich, and the narrative construct provides both a road movie and a family drama.
The film is available from United King or Beta Cinema