Amir Haddad, a very ambitious young filmmaker, stumbles upon a complex scam, concocted by Amitai Kariv – an Israeli left-wing novelist, and Margo Mai – a young woman who's writing Kariv’s biography. Haddad considers this encounter fodder for a docu-thriller, one that features much passion and deceit. Kariv, not a nemesis to be taken lightly, takes exception to Haddad’s investigation. Margo Mai seems to be playing both sides. Hostilities ensue. When narratives collide, truth is an immediate victim.
The Monkey House
Written and directed by: Avi Nesher
(Israel 2023, 128 mins, Hebrew, Italian, with English subtitles)
Main cast: Adir Miller, Suzanna Papian, Shani Cohen, Ala Dakka, Yaniv Biton
Novelist Amitai Kariv’s career started with a bang: his first four novels were award-winning best sellers. But his next two novels were received less enthusiastically and the following two novels - with a definite measure of derision. He puts out an ad seeking an assistant, interviews many qualified applicants but curiously settles on Margo May – a shapely fast talking young woman whose single distinction is the sheer amount of lies and falsehoods he discovers in her resume.
The narrative twists take a wide turn when Amir - a young documentary film director of Palestinian origin, who has studied in Rome and now works for RAI- comes to Israel in order to film a documentary about the discrepancy in narrative between Israeli and Palestinian authors. Amir’s chance encounter with Margo generates a possible romance but, even more importantly, exposes a story that is a filmmaker’s dream. Amir realizes that this fantastic wedlock between literature, cinema, romance and mystery – all based on a true story – are the fodder great art is made of. If he can decipher Amiti’s masterplan, he will have a vehicle that will carry him to success.
The plot swings from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, to Rome and back. This Danse Macabre between Amitai, Margo and Amir reaches its climax when Margo finally discovers Amitai’s plan. Her equally daring counterplot will change their lives forever.
The Monkey House, is Avi Nesher's latest film after: Portrait of Victory (2021), The Other Story (2018), Past Life (2016), The Wonders (2013), The Matchmaker (2010), The Secrets (2007), Turn Left at the End of the World (2004), Dizengoff 99 (1979), The Troupe (1978) and many more.
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