"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.


Monday, May 18, 2020


Melting Away, directed by Doron Eran, is a surprisingly sensitive and compelling film about how one family copes with the subject of transgender.  The script has the right amount of complexity, and shows a great deal of sensitivity. 

When Shlomo discovers that his teenage son, Assaf, is gay, he locks him out of the house.  Four years later, Shlomo is dying of cancer, and Assaf’s mother goes looking for her son, so he can come to reconnect with his father.  She hires a private investigator, who discovers that Assaf, now named Anna, is a stunning and talented singer, performing in a Tel Aviv club. 

Notwithstanding the anger Anna still harbors towards her parents, she seems to have grown up to be a wonderful human being.  The next day Anna appears at her father’s hospital bed and tells him that she is a private nurse, sent by his insurance company.  Apparently not recognizing her, Shlomo agrees to have her take care of him, and as a result, father and daughter spend a lot of time together, talking about family issues and sharing moments of intimacy. 

The film highlights two kinds of mothers.  Anna’s gay friend Shimi, who is so afraid of telling his mother about his lifestyle, eventually tells her that he is gay and he discovers that she can be surprisingly accepting.  Anna’s own mom, on the other hand, has let the rigidity and hatefulness of her husband keep her away from her child for so many years.  This has caused what seems to be an irreparable rift within the family.

Melting Away (85 minutes) is available from Go2Films.  
Stay at home and watch on-line (for a small fee).

If you are interested in other films on this subject, check out the highly recommended documentary, entitled Transkids, directed by Hilla Medalia, previously reviewed on this blog.

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