February 28, 2009
Cinequest 19
Germany / Israel
98 Minutes
Dror Zahavi

Wow. Powerful and hopeful and about Israeli-Palestinian relations. It doesn’t solve anything, but it does personalize the conflict, right down to one young man. Tarek straps on a bomb belt in the first scene. He is asked questions by his conspirators. Are you ready? Yes. Eight o’clock in the morning in a crowded market. Then, since they don’t completely trust him, they attach a cellphone so they can remotely blow him up if he loses his nerve. He is young, good-looking, well-spoken, and a soccer prospect of some note. But his father is in a jam with an extremist gang.

Meanwhile, over on the Jewish side, things aren’t so great either. A gorgeous young woman with pink hair and tattoos and a short skirt runs a shopping kiosk. Keren and Tarek strike up a tenuous friendship. She is estranged from her father–Tarek is far from his father. She is threatened by a group of ultra-traditional Jews who don’t approve of her lifestyle. Meanwhile, an old man named Katz runs the local hardware store and when Tarek’s bomb switch doesn’t work, he goes there to get a new one. In exchange, he’ll fix the leak in the roof that Katz has neglected. Tarek is invited to stay for dinner at his home. Everyone is connected. Tarek is the only Arab in the story, but he begins to see the vast cornucopia of Jews as he comes into contact with them. The sad girl, the bitter old man, the orthodox gang, the community safety inspector.

The relationship doesn’t go where you think it will. The tension of the bomb belt is constantly felt. I was most impressed and when the two young people share headphones on the beach, your heart will break into a million pieces.

7.4 IMDB (43 Votes)


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One Response to “SOF SHAVUA B'TEL AVIV”
  1. Eric says:

    I’ve got a screening of this in about an hour! Looking forward to it.

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Written by Michael W. Cummins