A Film by: David Ofek & Yossi Madmoni
(Israel, 2003, 89 Minutes, Color, Hebrew, English subtitles, Cast: Raymonde Abecassis, Yigal Adika, Victor Ida, Dana Ivgy, Makram Khoury)
Israel in the late 80s: the first Intifada events. A wild barbecue feast takes place on the green hills bordering a small workers town, as an immigrant Iraqi family celebrates the 40th Independence Day. As it moves through the different stories of the family members, the plot portrays a complex past where different individual stories intersect and are revealed in a new light.
The traumatic encounter between the parents’ Iraqi heritage and the Israeli-Zionist culture is brought to the fore when the mother’s sweetheart from yesteryear surprisingly appears at the onset of the film, and provides an axis around which the whole plot revolves. He deceives her husband, causing him to travel to the USA. Having to deal with her old repressed love, the mother is carried into hysterical emotional turmoil.
All the while, their own Israeli-born son, who is already searching for a better and more rewarding environment in the Diaspora, is dragged into an absurd turn of events by a strange murder of an Israeli porno actress in New York.
Throughout the story, step by step, the past intermingles with the present. We understand that 40 years ago, beneath the green hill on which the joyful barbeque takes place now, once stood a Palestine village and an Israeli bunker.
Now everything is green.
These individual stories, so strange and yet so typical, intertwine to weave the story of a family, which, in turn, is part of the epos of a nation, the epos of Israel.
The film’s major actors are non-actors. It is shot in 35 mm. film and combines direct documentary monologues in video, that cut the story and add an authentic-documentary touch to the complex fiction structure.
AWARDS, FESTIVALS & SCREENINGS
• Mar del Plata Film Festival - Best Script Award
• Tblisi International Film Festival
• Istanbul Film Festival
• Vancouver Jewish Film Festival
• Boston Film Festival
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