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Close to Home-Movie Review 06/07/2011

Posted by Films to consider in Drama, Israeli language film, Movies.
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Close to Home (Israeli) 2005
Karov La Bayit

Winner, Special Jury Award, Berlin Film Festival Forum
Winner, Best Screenplay, Jerusalem Film Festival
Winner, C.I.C.A.E Award, Forum of New Cinema (Hager and Bilu), Berlin International Film Festival

Written and directed by Dalia Hager and Vidi Bilu
Starring Smadar Sayar and Naama Schendar

As part of their mandatory military service, two young Israeli women are assigned to patrol together. Mirit (Schendar) is serious and follows the rules, while Smadar (Sayar) is more free-spirited and rebellious. Their job is to confront Palestinians on the street and on buses to verify their identities.

While coping with strict rules and a tense atmosphere, Mirit and Smadar also have to come to terms with their personal differences.

An up-close and moving story about what has come to be everyday life – living in the shadow of possible terrorist attacks.

99 min. Not rated. Adult themes.


Munich-Movie Review 07/13/2010

Posted by Films to consider in American, Based on true story, Israeli language film, Movies, Thriller.
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Munich (American/Israeli) 2006

Among other awards:
Nominee, Best Picture; Best Director; Best Screenplay, Academy Awards
Nominee, Best Director; Best Screenplay, Golden Globes
Best Actor (Eric Bana), Australian Film Institute

Directed by Steven Spielberg
Based on the book Vengeance, by George Jonas.

The film follows a plan to take revenge for the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. Recruited to lead the five-man squad of assassins is former Golda Meir bodyguard Avner (played by Eric Bana), a young man dedicated to the cause of his Israeli homeland. After the squad carries out some successful executions, a couple of Avner’s own men get killed and one commits suicide. He becomes increasingly (and understandably) paranoid that he, his wife, and baby daughter are targets of the enemy.

I especially liked Bana’s performance as Avner tries to balance his desire for revenge with his increasingly emotional reactions to his assignment.

164 min. Rated R. Note: There is a lot of bloody violence and many explosions.


The Band’s Visit-Movie Review 06/27/2010

Posted by Films to consider in Arabic/Egyptian language film, Comedy, Israeli language film, Light Drama.
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The Band’s Visit (Egyptian/Israeli) 2007

Among other honors:
Winner, Best Picture; Best Director; Best Screenplay, Israeli Film Academy Awards
Winner, Un Certain Regard prize, Cannes Film Festival
Winner, Best Actor; Best Discovery, European Film Award

Directed by Eran Kolirin

A police band from Alexandria, Egypt travels to Israel to provide musical entertainment for the opening of the Arab Cultural Center there. The band gets misdirected and ends up stranded in a small town in the middle of nowhere. They are put up by several locals. Some sweet and funny scenes as a few band members “socialize” with the locals.

The narrative is interspersed with some beautiful music.

87 min. Rated PG-13.