This extremely powerful look at dysfunctional family relationships is one of the best Israeli films released this year. It is the story of a young woman who is in a relationship with a rock musician. This relationship leads them both down a path to giving up their wild ways, to take up a life of religious observance.
Her secular parents are shocked at their daughter’s conversion and scheme to break the couple up, something the parents know all too well, as they have been divorced for years. At the same time, there’s a side plot about another troubled family; a man who worries that his wife is joining a pagan cult and wonders what the cult will do to his son. If it all sounds crazy, rest assured that this wonderful film pulls these disparate threads together in a way that makes sense and feels entirely real.
The film has funny moments but is mostly a tale of parents struggling to hold on to their children and of the difficult task of healing fractured relationships. It features a fabulous cast of top Israeli actors and is directed by legendary Israeli filmmaker Avi Nesher. Despite an ambiguous ending, I guarantee you will be glad you saw this film and will be talking about it long after it is over.
Jason Evans is a local film critic and journalist. He is the co-chair of the AJFF Film Evaluation Committee.