"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.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

On the Background of the Second Lebanon War

Having just had the chance to view a film that I missed last year, I thought I would share it with you – Haven  (עיר מקלט), directed by Amikan Kovner, which takes place during the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

When in crisis, or living with on-going situations of danger or war, Israelis often spout the cliché that “life must go on”.  This is often not so easy, especially for those under direct attack.  During the Second Lebanon War, those living on the front-lines in the northern parts of the country, found it difficult to go on with life as usual.  In fact, many were unable to go to work, frustrated due to the fact that they could not protect their families, and were forced to flee their homes for a more secure venue. 

Moti and Keren are a young Sephardi couple from Kiryat Shmona, who are expecting their first child.  They are being hosted by Yali and Boaz, a secular, slightly older, childless couple living in Tel Aviv.  

This is not a complex film, but it is an interesting study of two very different couples who are living under very close and tense conditions in the stifling summer heat.  There are the obvious resentments, jealousies, and of course, sexual tensions.  I loved all four of the characters, and felt for them during this very difficult period. 

The story could be a metaphor for the differences within Israeli society – religious and secular, periphery and center of the country, left and right, Sephardi and Ashkenazi, and more than anything else, those living on the frontlines and those living in the bourgeois city of Tel Aviv.    

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