"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, December 31, 2016

Best Films of 2016

It’s that time of year!  Here is my lineup of my favorite Israeli films of the past year.
All of them are wonderful films and not to be missed!

Feature Films

  • ·        Junction 48 - directed by Udi Aloni and featuring Arab rapper, Tamer Nafar.  About the frustrations of living in a divided society, and about the meeting point between Israelis and Palestinians within Israeli society.

  • ·        Sand Stormdirected by Elite Zexer – about Bedouin women living in the northern Negev, this is a gritty and authentic picture of life for the women, a prizewinner at Sundance.   

  • ·        Through the Wall – directed by Rama Burshtein (Fill the Void) - an impressive comedy drama about providence, faith, matchmaking, and a woman’s desire for marriage, all on the backdrop of life within the haredi (ultra-orthodox) community in Israel. 

  • ·        Past Life directed by veteran filmmaker, Avi Nesher (Dizengoff ‘99, Secrets, Turn Left at the End of the World, Wonders) – tells the story of two sisters in 1970s Israel who unravel the dark mystery of their father’s life during the Holocaust, based on the true story of Ella Sheriff.

  • ·        The Women’s Balcony (Yismach Hatani) -- Emil Ben Shimon’s debut film about the Sephardi modern Orthodox community in Jerusalem, a warning about the dangers of religious fanaticism.

  • ·        One Week and a Day - Asaph Polonsky’s debut feature - winner of the Critics' Week award at Cannes 2016, a quirky tragi-comedy about fathers and sons, family issues, and bereavement.


  • ·        Presenting Princess Shaw -- directed by Ido Haar – triumphant story of how an African American singer goes viral when she is discovered on-line by Kutiman, an Israeli musical phenomenon.

  • ·        Who's Gonna Love Me Now? -- directed by Barak Heymann and Tomer Heymann – a soul-searching documentary about Saar Maoz, a 40-year-old Israeli gay man living in London.

  • ·        Café Nagler -- directed by Mor Kaplansky – creative documentary story of a Jewish family in 1920s Berlin. 

  • ·        Photo Farag– directed by Kobi Farag - about a family from Baghdad, who emigrated to Israel in the 1950s, and eventually became successful in their family business of wedding and events photography.

  • ·        Ben Gurion – Epilogue – directed by Yariv Mozer – about an extraordinary visionary, who he was and what he believed.

  • ·        Tel Aviv Live – directed by Nellu Cohen -- a stupendous film about art and artists and about what is unique in the culture of a city.

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