"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.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Faith, Intermarriage, and Acceptance of the "Other"

Between Worlds (בין העולמות), directed by Miya Hatav, is a feature film about faith in God and acceptance of the “other”. The story tells of a relationship between two women who are from different worlds –one is an ultra-orthodox Jew and the other is Arab.  They meet in a hospital, both visiting the same young man who has been hurt in a terrorist incident.  One woman is his religious mother and the other is his girlfriend.  When his father arrives, it becomes clear that there has been a deep family rift for a long time. 

The girlfriend, Amal, is Arab and is afraid to tell the family who she is.  Pretending to be visiting someone in a nearby room, she slowly forms a relationship with the mother.  While they are at the hospital all day, the father, a sofer, is searching for an explanation for what has happened to his son and busies himself with checking Yoel’s tefillin.  Meanwhile, the mother realizes who the girl really is and a touching and warm relationship begins to develop between them.

Telling a woman’s story, this film is both a surprisingly human portrayal and also a tragic story.  It is human because we feel the loneliness, the tension and the fear as both women try to resolve their feelings about the young man in the hospital bed.  It is tragic because both women are trapped in their worlds, unable to truly reach out to the other.  Without offering a spoiler, I must say that the film’s ending is a bit disappointing, not really resolving any of the issues that arise within the narrative. 

Between Worlds (feature film, 84 minutes) is available from Go2Films.  

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