Israeli Film Festival

 

Passover Fever 1995

Director: Shemi Zarhin
Producers: Amitan Manelson, Michael Sharfstein
Screenplay: Shemi Zarhin
Photography: Amnon Zalait
Editor: Einat Glaser-Zarhin
Music: Adi Cohen

http://movie-reviews.colossus.net/movies/p/passover.html

 

Winner: Best Screenplay, 1995 Montreal International Film Festival.

Two days under one roof, one family, one legendary tradition going back three thousand years - Passover. The stories of Yona, Michael, their children and grandchildren mix and mingle, creating a merry-go-round of emotions: love, betrayal, longing, anger, laughter and tears, accompanied by songs and a great deal of food. Passover Fever is a sad comedy within a colourful world, a dream house amidst greenery and flowers with moments of fantasy within the stark reality of the frustrated lives of everyone in this family.
- 12th Israfest
USA 1995, programme notes.

Jana’s Friends 1998

 By Arik Kaplun

http://www.scottsdalefilmfestival.com/Pages/yana.html

Awards: Awards of the Israeli Film Academy - Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, Jerusalem Film Festival - Best Israeli Feature, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival - Award of Ecumenical Jury - Special Mention and Best Actress, WorldFest Houston - Gold Award

 

Yitzhak, a handicapped old man, is forced, by his granddaughter, to pose as a beggar.  Jana, a beautiful, young pregnant girl, rooms with Eli, an Israeli film student.  He is attracted to her Eastern European tenderness but she rejects him because of his macho Israeli arrogance. 

 

Rosa, Eli and Jana’s landlord, has become tougher over the years: she lost contact with her lover, Yitzhak, during World War ll, and her son died in the Yom Kippur War.  The Two couples are reunited during the scud attacks in a sealed room and find a common bond: their wish that the war would continue.  But can the romances last?

 

Kaplun has written and directed extensively for television and films.  In 1987,

his student short film, SOLO FOR TUBA, was nominated for an Oscar in the

student film category.  Kaplun has also taught directing at the Camera Obscura film school and the Open University.

 

Hahesder – Time of Favor

By Joseph Cedar

http://www.kino.com/timeoffavor/time_main.html

Inspired by a true story, Hahesder follows Menachem, a religious army officer, who is falsely accused of planning to bomb a mosque in Jerusalem.  As he fights to prove his innocence, Menachem is also forced to consider where his allegiances lie.

 

Torn between his loyalty to his rabbi, his love for his rabbi’s daughter, and his duty as a commanding officer, Menachem finds that he can only really be loyal to himself.

 

Joesph Cedar was born in New York, immigrated to Israel with his family at the age of six.  He studied Philosophy and the History of Theater at the Hebrew University and is a graduate of New York University’s Film School.  Hahesder is his feature film debut.

 

Kadosh 1999

By Amos Gitai

http://www.suntimes.com/ebert/ebert_reviews/2000/05/051205.html

Rivka and Meir are still deeply in love even after ten years of marriage.  They are also Childless in a community, where bearing children is the essence of marriage.  When Meir’s rabbi begins to pressure him to abandon his wife for a fertile woman, the couple is torn by the agonizing conflict between their abiding love and devotion to their religion. 

 

Meanwhile Malka is in love with Yaakov, who was vanished from the Community.  When the rabbi decides that she should marry his loyal beadle Yosef instead, she agrees to go through with the wedding despite her belief that there is a life outside this tightly knit community.  As the film progresses, the situations become more complex and emotional, taking on the sober quality of tragedy against the backdrop of Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox community.

 

Director Amos Gitai while training as an architect at the University of California at Berkeley, Gitai continued to make documentary and feature films.  It was an odyssey that took him around the globe, to Israel, the U.S., the Philippines, Thailand, Bahrain, Japan, France, Germany, and Russia.  In 1982 he moved to Paris, where he continued to study the themes of exile, emigration and geography that pervade his work.

 

 His films include such Israeli classics as Esther (1995), Berlin-Jerusalem (1989), Golem: The Spirit of Exile (1992), the Petrified Garden (1993), and Day by Day (1998).

 

Vulcan Junction 2000

by Eran Riklis

http://www.sfjff.org/cgi-bin/sfjff_resource.pl?titleID=1069

This film follows nine days in the lives of four young Israelis living in an Indusrial area in Haifa.  They dream of conquering the world with their music, but now they still play in a local bar called Vulcan Junction.  They plan on leaving for Tel Aviv, but Shelly, the singer, is also thinking of a solo career and considering leaving the band.  He is in love with Dalia, who has her own dream of becoming a newspaper reporter in the big city. 

 

But Dalia is also in love with Elbaz, a talented soccer player, who’s about to head off to Amsterdam to play for the legendary Ajax team.  Everyone is on the verge of making major decisions about the future, when suddenly the war erupts, changing their lives forever.

 

Mr Eran Riklis is the award winning director of numerous television series

and documentaries, and four feature films.  Cup Final (1991) was an international success, distributed worldwide for theatrical and television release, while Zohar (1993), was the most successful Israeli film of the 1990s.

 

Vulcan Junction (2000) Mr. Riklis’s fourth film, is a nostalgic look back at Israel on the eve of the Yom Kippur War.