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In Tel Aviv, the gloomy Ezra hires foreign workers without permits to build an addition to a homely block of flats where his ex-wife Mali lives with her current lover Ilan.
Ezra and Mali's young son Eyal hates the army and is AWOL, living among prostitutes and drug dealers. Gabi, a beautiful young woman who's a friend of Mali's, is carrying on an affair with Hezi, an older man insisting on secrecy. Hezi rents an apartment at the building for their trysts. Neighbors complain about the noise of their lovemaking and of the construction.
Lives revolve slowly one around another. 'Everyone's out for himself,' says Ezra of Israeli society. Suicide bombings and elections provide a backdrop.
Nominee 2003 Israeli Film Academy:
Nominee 2003 Valladolid International Film Festival - Golden Spike
Nominee 2003 Venice Film Festival - Golden Lion
2003 Israel Comedy/Drama, Hebrew & English with Hebrew, English & French subtitles
Directed by Amos Gitai
Writing credits Amos Gitai, Yehoshua Kenaz (novel)
Yael Abecassis.... Gabi
Uri Klauzner.... Ezra
Hana Laszlo.... Mali
Ronit Elkabetz.... Ronit
Amos Lavi.... Hezi
Lupo Berkowitch.... Aviram
Liron Levo.... Ilan
Yosef Carmon.... Schwartz
Amit Mestechkin.... Eyal
Lyn Shiao Zamir.... Linda
Keren Mor.... Mali
AMOS GITAI - director
Amos Gitai was studying architecture, following in his father's footsteps, when the Yom Kippur War interrupted his studies and it was the use of his Super8 camera, whilst flying helicopter missions that led to his career as a filmmaker.
Based in Israel, the United States and France, Gitai has produced an extraordinary, wide-ranging, and deeply personal body of work. In around 40 films, documentary and fiction, Gitai has explored the layers of history in the Middle East and beyond, including his own personal history, through such themes as homeland and exile, religion, social control and utopia. His trademark style includes long takes with scarce but significant camera movements and a devilishly clever sense of humour.
In the late 70s and early 80s, Gitai directed numerous documentaries, including HOUSE and FIELD DIARY. During the same era, Gitai received his Ph.D in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley.
Following the controversial reception to FIELD DIARY, Gitai moved to Paris in 1983, where he was based for the next ten years and during this period continued to travel widely directing such documentaries as PINEAPPLE, a humorous odyssey about the growth and marketing of pineapples. He also made BRAND NEW DAY, a film that followed Annie Lennox and the Eurythmics as they toured Japan.
During this period he began directing fiction and historical films about the experience of exile. These films include the Venice critic's prize-winning BERLIN JERUSALEM and the extraordinary trilogy on the Jewish legend of Golem.
In the mid-90s Gitai moved to Haifa and began the most fertile, productive period of his career to date. Over 10 years, Gitai made some 15 films, both documentary and fiction. The 1995 feature DEAVARIM marked the return to his country and his reunion with the light and landscape of Tel Aviv. The first film in Gitai's trilogy of Israeli cities, DEVARIM was followed by YOM YOM (shot in Haifa) and KADOSH (shot in Mea Shearim, the Jerusalem district of Orthodox Jews). Other fiction features followed: 2000's KIPPUR, 2001's EDEN, 2002's KEDMA, 2003's ALILA and 2004's PROMISED LAND.
Gitai's work has been the subject of major retrospectives, notably at Centre Pompidou (Paris), NFT and ICA (both in London), and cinematheques in Madrid, Jerusalem, Paris, Sao Paolo, Tokyo and Toronto. Future retrospectives are scheduled later this year at New York's Lincoln Center and Berlin's Kunstwerk.