Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Yehoram Gaon, Maya Maron, Yehuda Levi, Hani Furstenberg, Itay Turgeman
Director: Joseph Cedar
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Special Interests
The year is 1981. Rachel Gerlik a 42-year-old widow, mother of two beautiful teenage daughters, Esti and Tami, wants to join the founding group of a new religious settlement in the West Bank. The problem is that the accept... more »
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Innocence lost and found . . .
Ronald Scheer | Los Angeles | 04/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This slice-of-life story set in 1981, a relatively peaceful time for Israel, points innocently to its quagmire of troubles today as it concerns a middle-aged widow trying to join a group of West Bank settlers. Meanwhile, a match-making friend begins introducing her to eligible bachelors, and her two daughters are having boyfriend troubles of their own. The tightly knit plot skillfully interweaves all of these storylines, each taking unexpected and sometimes troubling turns. Besides the stories it has to tell, the film has much on its mind, as director Joseph Cedar exposes mother and daughters to the callow, chauvinistic, sometimes brutal behavior of the males around them. In its way, the film has something to say about innocence, the loss of innocence, and self-interest that masquerades as innocence.
Cedar has touched on the theme of settlements before in his first feature "Time of Favor," which offers a more troubling view of the current situation, where religious and political extremism drive a plot among yeshiva students to "liberate" the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This time, the settlers are represented as self-righteous, self-serving, and pathetically comic. A mild-mannered bus driver (played wonderfully by Moshe Ivgy), who sleeps on Sabbath and has no apparent political affiliations, is slowly revealed as the moral center of the film. There is maybe more here than the film is able to completely resolve by the final frame, but the inconclusiveness does not make it less believable."
The personal eclipses the political
Daniel B. Clendenin | www.journeywithjesus.net | 01/31/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Set in 1981, Rachel Gerlik is a forty-two year old widow with two adolescent girls, struggling to move beyond grief. Feeling very much isolated, it is her "life dream," she says, to join the founders of a new settlement in the West Bank. The selection committee is dubious about including a single woman, and her two girls accuse her of "sucking up" to them in her neediness to be wanted. Esti, her older daughter, acts out with an Israeli soldier, while the younger Tami gets more attention than she bargained for at the settlement's youth group bonfire. Into this mix steps Yossi, an older bachelor-bus driver who also describes himself as a left-out, overlooked outsider. When Tami's reputation is publicly smeared, Rachel's stock sinks even lower with the settlement's leaders. In the end, she spurns the settlers in favor of her outsider status with Yossi and her two girls. Campfire is a personal rather than a political film, although some Israelis have criticized writer-director Joseph Cedar for smearing his Zionist family roots. The film won five Israeli Academy Awards and was Israel's entry for the 2004 Academy Award competition as Best Foreign-Language. In Hebrew with English subtitles."
Propaganda in place of Art
Shalom Freedman | Jerusalem,Israel | 07/02/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I so much wanted to like this film. An Israeli film which was much celebrated in the local press. It was supposed to be a sensitive family drama in which a newly- widowed mother plans on making a new life by leaving the City and going off to a settlement. And there is indeed a nice, little love - story between the widowed mother and a humble , bachelor bus- driver.
Two elements ruined the film for me. One, a too graphic and violent for my taste rape scene. Here I may be unfair to the film but at my age this kind of violence is simply something I do not want to see.
As for the second objection this is one I think has substance artistically. The highly artificial and cardboard- like way the people of the settlement are presented makes it all unconvincing. Lots of little cinematic tricks are used to make the Jews of Judea and Samaria seem ugly , narrow-minded and crude.
Shallow stereotyping of this kind is opposed to the real exploration of character which makes for true cinematic Art."
An exhilirating film
David Lence | Culver City, CA USA | 06/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While this film is narrated by a woman, it is written and directed by a man, Joseph Cedar For those of you familiar with Israeli cinema, Mr. Cedar is also responsible for Time of Favor, a film which won six Israeli Oscars.
Campfire is careful to not portray Zionism in a cartoonish way, although I am sure many will disapprove. The characters are well drawn. The actors ave all appeared in other Israeli films, plays and television and are well respected. This is a film worth seeing."