Intelligent, moving, romantic melodrama
Here's one more beauty in the string of beautiful films directed by Eytan Fox. The movie presents the story of star-crossed lovers (one Israeli, one Palestinian)in modern Tel Aviv. The film's effectiveness comes not only from its depiction of cross-ethnic conflict, but of conflicts personal and political within ethnic groups as well. For example, there's a telling moment when one of the secondary characters, openly gay, is visited in the hospital by his boyfriend who brings him flowers and tries to kiss him in front of his visiting family, and suddenly we see a wave of awkward discomfort wash through the room. Clearly the young man is not as open as he seems, and the family not as accepting as he might want them to be, while the boyfriend is confused and rejected. A good deal of complexity is packed into a fleeting moment. As we know from Yossi & Jagger, Fox is a master at efficiently packing emotional and psychological complexity into brief sequences. The film is also effective for the even-handed way it presents the mutual brutalities that Israelies and Palestinians inflict on each other. If you're not heartless, you'll cry through the last third of the movie. Though the plot is melodramatic, it's so intelligently written and acted that it reminds us of how satisfying good melodrama can be.