"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.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Leaving the Ultra-Orthodox World Behind

Apples from the Desert, directed by Matti Harari and Arik Lubetzky, is a modern morality tale. 

Rivka is a 19-year-old girl from a Jerusalem haredi (ultra-orthodox) family.   She is a rebellious daughter, interested in seeing the world, making a difference, and not just marrying and having children.  Her strictly religious, Sephardi parents have a love-less relationship and her authoritarian father has a cruel streak.  She finally breaks and runs away when he insists that she marry an older widower with children.  The film is an adaptation of the story bySavyon Liebrecht.  

A wonderful comic element is provided by Rivka's Aunt Sara who is the spinster aunt and has more compassion and love of life than any of the others surrounding her in her ultra-orthodox community where women are judged by the length of their skirts rather than by their good deeds. 

Rivka is helped in her escape by an intriguing young man who raises organic apples in the desert.  He brings her to his kibbutz in the Negev desert, where she slowly comes out of her shell and learns about a more open, tolerant and accepting world.  We watch as she blossoms, much as the apples growing in the desert climate.   

In this story about how an ultra-orthodox young woman breaks from her cloistered and traditional family life and chooses to live a secular, modern lifestyle, we learn about issues of family, tradition, love, compromise and acceptance.

Apples from the Desert was produced by United King Films.

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