Israeli Movie & Culture festival
This year CWFF is organizing an Israeli-themed film and culture festival in Xi’an in April. The dates and locations will soon be added. See below for an overview of the films we will be showing for you!
A Quiet Heart
Director: Eitan Anner
In present day Jerusalem, a city increasingly dominated by religious fanaticism, Naomi (Ania Bukstein), a secular young woman, seeks refuge from the pressure of her life as a concert pianist. Overwhelmed by the expectations of her parents and her colleagues in Tel Aviv, Naomi seeks anonymity and solitude in the ancient city. Naomi quickly makes two unexpected connections - one with a musically gifted Ultra-Orthodox young boy who lives in her building and the other, with Fabrizio, a charismatic Italian monk and organist. While these relationships allow Naomi to reconnect with her love of music and sense of meaning, they also make her a target in her new community.
Director: Tammy Federman
The documentary film “Cellfish” explores the life and work of multi-disciplinary Israeli Artist Shelly Federman, through the eyes of her younger sister Tammy. The film incorporates over thirty years of footage: Shelly’s childhood, upbringing as well as her creative process and her art works, some of which are: “The Floating wall”, a Political Art Installation focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian separation wall. Shelly documents herself coping with her illness and shows intimate moments of her relationship with her daughter. It captures the radiance and light of this enigmatic and colorful artist.
Director: Eliran Elya
Assi, a screenwriter and poet, is stuck in his personal life. He is full of doubt, disturbing thoughts, and existential restlessness. He is sentenced to community service due to a drunken-driving motorcycle accident in which he was involved. For his community service, he is sent to work with juvenile delinquents in Beersheba - the desert city in southern Israel - who are under house arrest and must attend sessions with Assi in the neighborhood shelter as a condition for their parole. Their extreme personalities, their riotous energy, and their charm awaken curiosity and attraction in him; together, they break through the boundaries of the rehabilitative framework.
Directors: Amikam Kovner & Assaf Snir
Avner suspects his wife Ella of having an affair. Secretly recording her telephone conversations, he turns into a spy in his own home, listening to them again and again. But while searching for one thing, he discovers another - the woman he listens to is a stranger to him, so very different from the one he thought he knew. He tries to understand that woman, to decode their relationship, but the more he knows, the less he understands.
Here and now
Director: Roman Shumunov
A social drama told through the eyes of Andrey, a young immigrant living with his little sister in the slums of the city of Ashdod and struggling to assimilate into Israeli society, who forms a hip-hop band with his three best friends. Their dream of taking part in the competition is all but shattered when Andrey suffers a crisis at home. Andrey’s father has been in the hospital for months, leaving Andrey responsible for his little sister and for making payments on their mortgage. He can’t juggle caring for his sister, rehearsing, and working all at once.
sounds of immigration
Directors: Yael Kipper & Ronen Zaretzky
A cinematic-literary look at the lives of immigrants, who came to Israel over the course of 20 years, all residents of Block 461 in Maalot-Tarshiha, a mixed city in the North of Israel. The film observes the lives of people who immigrated from Russia and are still searching for their place, people who fled Lebanon 14 years ago when they were children and are just starting to realize how complex their lives are, and young people from the community of ‘’Bnei Menashe’’, Kuki people who just arrived from Manipur, India. The film presents a dialogue between cinematographic expression and a literary text written by Israeli novelist Sara Shilo.
Director: Ariel Cohen
The film is based on real events that took place in the Soviet Union about 60 years ago, called the "Doctors' Plot". Moscow, 1953. Jewish doctors are arrested on charges of conspiring to bring down the regime. Masha, a Jewish doctor who secretly manages a Jewish underground in her home, is also arrested. During the violent arrest, her daughter, a brilliant chess player named Nehama, is wounded and loses her memory. Will Nechama's memory will return a moment before she incriminates her mother and execute her?
The film was originally produced for Ultra-Orthodox Jewish audience, and therefore all the acting roles in this film are women's.
Director: Jacob Goldwasser
Gadi is mentally handicapped, he has a unique sense of humor, an infectious laugh and endless optimism. His mother's sudden death forces Gadi to move temporarily to the house of his biological father, from whom he's been estranged most of his life. Reuven, Gadi's father, absorbed in his own problems, has always been put off by interactions with his son. But the hidden love between father and son grows steadily stronger as they get to know each other again. Gadi's endless optimism will console them all when the two of them have to cope with the tribulations that await them.
Director: Aalam-Warqe Davidian
16 year old Jewish Mina, is trying to navigate between a surreal routine dictated by the civil war in Ethiopia and her last days of youth with her Christian boyfriend Eli. When she discovers that her family is planning to immigrate to Israel and escape the war, she weaves an alternate plan in order to save Eli. But in times of war, plans tend to go wrong. Marsha's coming of age film debut film is based on her childhood memories of a civil-war-torn Ethiopia.
GUela / redemption
Directors: Yossi Madmoni & Boaz Yehonatan Yaacov
Menachem, a former front-man for a rock band, is now religious, and a father to a six-year-old. When his daughter is diagnosed with cancer, he must find a creative solution to fund the expensive treatments. He reunites his band for one last tour. The journey to save his daughter exposes old wounds and allows him to reconnect with his secular past. Menachem understands that only a new connection to his past and to his music can pave the road to his own redemption.