Good film on Post-Holocaust Israel, II
Rachel Leah Jablon | Denver, CO USA | 04/04/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Under the Domim Tree is the second film of a two-film series based on Gila Almagor's stories about her upbringing in post-Holocaust Israel. (Either film may be viewed independently, though.) Almagor is one Israel's most noted and well regarded actresses, and her books reveal a childhood that surprised many Israelis.
Aviya is sent to live in a youth village (kfar no'ar) because of her mother's emotional instability following her migration to Israel as a Displaced Person. Her mother--remarkably played by Almagor herself--features minorly in the film, although her influence plays a major role in Aviya's development into a teenage girl facing love, loss, and self-consciousness.
Aviya--the character based on Almagor--is sent to live in a youth village (kfar no'ar) because of her mother's emotional instability following her migration to Israel as a Displaced Person. Her mother--remarkably played by Almagor herself--features minorly in the film, although her influence plays a major role in Aviya's development into a teenage girl facing love, loss, and self-consciousness.
Other characters include child Holocaust survivors still imprisoned by their memories and village staff--some who provide the nuturing their charges need, and some who don't.
Under the Domim Tree is a poignant film, portraying Aviya struggles in reconciling the horror of her mother's Holocaust experiences with the ramifications of her own maturation into adulthood.
The film is suitable for many age groups, namely high school on up.
Continuing Aviya's Story
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 01/28/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Under the Domin Tree" ("Etz Hadomin Tafus")
Continuing Aviya's Story
Aviya is the only Israeli-born girl among her schoolmates (the rest are Holocaust survivors from different European countries) in an Israeli boarding school in about 1953. There is a debate raging as to whether to accept German reparations for the atrocities of the Nazis and this causes some dormant memories from the youths to come to the fore. These conflicts will influence their coming of age, a period of fear, dreams and identity problems as well as first love. Aviya is determined to find her father's grave--he died before she was born and her mother is in a mental hospital and refuses to think about her past.
The kids who live at Oudim Boarding School are intense and complicated tens but we see them as shining youth and the future of Israel even though many of them are traumatized Holocaust survivors. They are helping to build the foundation of the Jewish state but beneath their hopes are horrible memories and haunting questions that may never have answers.
When night falls and the songs and dances stop and the lights so out, the ghosts from their past come to visit. The dreams of family can become nightmares and this touching film shows just that. The performances of the young actors are what hold this tender film together and we see a group of kids who are torn between an irretrievable past and a problematic future. (Gila Almagor also stars here as Aviya's mother once again).