"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.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Religious Fanaticism and Animosity towards Christianity

A Quiet Heart,לב שקט מאד  , directed by Eitan Anner, is a new feature film about life in Jerusalem.  In this film, there is a clear criticism of religious fanaticism and the haredi animosity towards Christians and Christianity. 

Naomi is a pianist who leaves her parent’s home in Tel Aviv to come to Jerusalem – to get away from the pressures of being a highly talented pianist and her fear of imperfection, and in search of solitude.  She gets a job at the radio station archives and rents a run-down apartment in the haredi part of Kiryat Yovel, where she is surprised to find a child prodigy who sneaks into her apartment every morning to play the piano that has been left there by the previous tenant. 

Not so far away is the community of Ein Kerem, where she stumbles upon an organ being played in a monastery, and feels the solitude and quiet of the church atmosphere.  As a result, she begins to take lessons on the pipe organ from one of the Italian monks. 

The best part of the film is the main character herself (played by Ania Bukstein).  The rest of the film is slow-paced and disappointing.  The secondary characters are stiff and stereotyped, especially the woman leading the struggle against the haredim in Kiryat Yovel and also Naomi’s father who comes from Tel Aviv to rescue her from the perils of life in Jerusalem.

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