According to filmmaker Raphaël Nadjari, Israeli cinema has gone through two stages. The first, from 1933-1978, began with the nature of Zionism and exaultation of the Israeli endeavor in Palestine and ended in a more personal study of the Ashkenazi psyche. The second stage, from 1978-2005, was defined by a greater diversity of topics as filmmakers tackled everything from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the contradictions of modern life. A HISTORY OF ISRAELI CINEMA tells the story of the building of a gaze on a society torn by ethnics, religious, and political conflicts. It attempts to understand, to denounce, and to explore these complex subjects, always searching for the right ethic, the right form. A History of Israeli Cinema is the result of years of research, studies, documentation, screening, and interviews. Actors, thinkers, producers, filmmakers, professors, and critics worked to build a narrative that remains fragile and incomplete. It is the process rather than the result that is shared here.
Arik, a teenage boy growing up in Haifa in 1968, gets a job working for Yankele Bride, a matchmaker. Yankele, a mysterious Holocaust survivor, has an office in back of a movie theater that shows only love stories, run by a family of seven Romanian dwarves in the seedy area by the port. Yankele introduces Arik to a new world, built on the ruins of an old one. As Arik begins to learn the mysteries of the human heart through his work with Yankele, he falls in love with Tamara, his friend Beni's cousin. Tamara has just returned from America and is full of talk of women's rights, free love and rock and roll. The disparate parts of Arik's life collide in unexpected, often funny and very moving ways as he lives through a summer that changes him forever. Avi Nesher's latest film mixes comedy with drama as it tells a coming-of-age story unlike any you've ever seen before.