This coming-of-age story follows Mina, a 16-year old Jewish girl who has grown up during the Ethiopian Civil War. Her family plans on fleeing to Israel, where Mina’s mother awaits them. However, this plan excludes Eli, Mina’s Christian boyfriend, who lives in the woods to evade being drafted into the army. In order to remain together, Mina hatches a plan to save Eli, but in times of war, all plans tend to go wrong.
After an ordinary family dinner, 23-year-old Ilan Halimi makes plans for coffee with a beautiful girl he met at work. The next time Ilan’s family hears from him is through a cryptic message from kidnappers, demanding ransom in exchange for their son’s life. This spurs a massive police manhunt over the next 24 days and triggers political outcry against anti-semitism in France.
In 1943, 13-year-old Fanny and her younger sisters are sent from their home in France to an Italian foster home for Jewish children. When the Nazis arrive in Italy, their caretakers organize the departure of the children to Switzerland. The 11 children are left on their own to do the impossible and reach the Swiss border to freedom. Based on a true story, Fanny’s Journey is an incredible tale of bravery, strength and survival, a story of a daring young girl who will stop at nothing and fears no one.
Winner of the Golden Bear at Berlinale, the latest from Nadav Lapid (The Kindergarten Teacher) features a dynamic lead performance from newcomer Tom Mercier, whose feral intensity practically bursts out of the frame. Mercier plays Yoav, a disaffected young Israeli who flees Tel Aviv for Paris to start a new life. Desperate to erase his origins, Yoav sees becoming French as his only hope for salvation. Step one is to replace his language. From now on, he will not utter a single word of Hebrew and his dictionary becomes his constant companion. His work at the Israeli embassy is a burden, but studying for his naturalization test also has its pitfalls. And the young French couple he befriends has some rather strange ideas about how to help him. Based on writer-director Nadav Lapid’s own experiences, Synonyms explores the challenges of putting down roots in a new place. Yoav’s attempts to find himself awaken past demons and open up an existential abyss in this tragicomic puzzle that wisely knows how to keep its secrets.
Based on the books of Sayed Kashua. Eyad, who grew up in an Arab town in Israel, is given the chance to go to a prestigious Jewish boarding school in Jerusalem. He desperately tries to fit in with his schoolmates and is isolated until Jewish classmate Naomi befriends him. Eyad’s other lifeline is Yonatan (Michael Moshonov), whom Eyad is assigned to help with schoolwork. Both are “misfits”: one in a wheelchair, the other an Arab. Through love, friendship, tradition, and conflict, Eyad struggles to find his identity.
Alice is a Parisian pharmacist who has a fixation on Woody Allen and his films. She has a huge portrait of him hanging in her bedroom, with which she tends to converse, seeking his wise counsel about life. She even hands out DVDs of his films to her customers as medicine for their ailments. Her parents have a sense of urgency for her to find a man, but none can match Woody Allen, not even the alarm specialist Victor who services the pharmacy. But there is one thing a man could do to impress her – introduce her to Woody Allen.
Can a house be a metaphor for Arab-Jewish relations in Israel? Amos Gitai returns to the house in West Jerusalery?m he profiled in 1980. He interviews members of the Jewish families who live there, and he talks with the Arab family who lived in the house until 1948. They are now in East Jerusalem and pay a nearly furtive visit to the street in front of their old house. Gitai also interviews Palestinian laborers at work on renovations and excavating an old tunnel to the Holy Mount. What do people think of each other, what do they think of Israel, what do they think of co-existence? Do the current residents know the house’s history?
Shai was born exactly ten years after the death of Itzhak, the first husband of his mother. Itzhak is not Shai’s father; he never even met him. Nevertheless, every year, instead of celebrating his birthday, Shai has to go to the cemetery with his family and celebrate Itzhak’s death . This year, Shai is going to turn 12 and he decided it will be different. He will do everything the can to feel, for once, normal.
In a gritty neighborhood in Haifa, Israel, when cascading events drive an alienating wedge between inseparable brothers, their fierce loyalty is shaken and their interdependence fractured. First-time filmmaker Eran Merav’s Zion and His Brother delivers sensitive insight into the dynamic of close siblings and the adolescent struggle to differentiate oneself from one’s family. With an absent father and a single mother consumed with paying bills and satisfying her boyfriend, tough, smoldering Meir has taken it upon himself to protect his gentle younger brother, Zion. He wheels Zion on his bike and holds his hand at the dentist; and when Zion reports that a schoolmate has stolen his coveted soccer sneakers, Meir handles the problem. But the reprisal spins out of control, and soon Zion understands he’s complicit in a secret only he and Meir share. This terrible pressure and Meir’s clashes with their mother’s boyfriend propel Zion to risk his fraternal allegiance—and sense of security—for a survival mode of his own.In this sensual, almost classical, coming-of-age drama, brought to life with powerful immediacy by Reuven Badalov, Ofer Hayoun, and the always-mesmerizing Ronit Elkabetz (The Band’s Visit), Merav tenderly renders nuanced, layered characters in complex circumstances and sustains exquisite narrative tension, where a lesser storyteller would settle for obvious resolutions. The result is quietly devastating.