"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 2, 2016

Best Israeli Films of 2015

It's time for my list of the best Israeli films of 2015.  With best wishes for a healthy and safe New Year to all! 

BEST FEATURE FILMS -- there were so many feature films produced this year!  Here are the highlights!
Films about the Individual and the Family

  • ·         Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem by Ronit and Shlomi Alkabetz - I listed this one in 2014, but it actually received distribution this year, and it's worth including over and over!  A courtoom drama that portrays a critical look at the rabbinical establishment which is so harsh in its treatment of women who request a divorce.
  • ·         A Tale of Love and Darkness by Natalie Portman, based on the autobiographical work by Amos Oz which deals with growing up in Jerusalem during the end of the British Mandatory period and the early years of the State.
  • ·         Kind Words by Shemi Zarhin - a charming and complex family drama.
  • ·         Next to Her by Asaf Korman - an emotional story about caring for a mentally-challenged sister.
  • ·         Afterthought by Elad Keidan - a quirky comedy about friendship and betrayal which takes place as two men in Haifa intersect, one walking up the mountain and the other walking down.
  • ·         Baba Joon by Yuval Delshad - a story of a Jewish family of Iranian descent living on a religious moshav during the 1980s.

Films on the background of the National/Political Story

  • ·         A.K.A. Nadia by Tova Ascher - a film about a Palestinian woman who hides her identity and marries a Jewish man.
  • ·         Sabena Hijacking by Rani Sa'ar - the story of the hijacking of the Sabena airliner in 1972.
  • ·         Wounded Land by Erez Tadmor - about how people react in the wake of a suicide bombing.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FILMS - This year included many high quality documentary films, dealing with fascinating subject matter!

  • ·         Mr. Gaga by Tomer Heyman - story of Ohad Naharin, world-renowned and critically acclaimed choreographer and artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company.
  •         Women in Sink by Iris Zaki - an insightful and honest look at Arab and Jewish women living in Haifa as they talk while having their hair done at a local salon.
  • ·         Rabin in His Own Words by Erez Laufer - an inspiring look at Rabin's public and private lives.
  • ·         Thru You Princess by Ido Haar - about Kutiman, an Israeli musical phenomenon, and his discovery of an African-American singer, Princess Shaw, and how he makes her into a star.
  • ·         Rock in the Red Zone by Laura Bialis - about the making of music as a therapeutic tool while under constant missile attack in Sderot.
  • ·         The Bentwich Syndrome by Gur Bentwich - the story of an Anglo-Jewish family, the descendants of Sir Herbert Bentwich.
  • ·         Censored Voices by Mor Loushy - based on the post 1967 war interviews for a book, entitled The Seventh Day, this film raises issues of morality during wartime.
  • ·         Arab Movie by Eyal Sagui Bizawe and Sara Tsifroni - about Israel's TV screening of a weekly Egyptian movie on Friday afternoons during the 1970s and 80s.

All of the films listed here have been reviewed on this blog.  Just go to the column on the left-hand side and click on what interests you!

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