Rebecca (Natalie Portman), an American girl who has a Jewish father, has lived in Jerusalem for several months. She has just broken off her engagement. One day, she enters a cab driven by a Jewish woman, Hanna (Hanna Laslo). Hanna’s destination is the Free Zone in the Jordan-Iraq-Saudi border to collect money owed to her husband recently wounded in a Palestinian rocket attack. Upon reaching the Free Zone, they meet up with Laila (Hiam Abbass), a Palestinian woman who serves as the contact for Hanna’s husband’s black market activities. The three women set off on a tense journey to retrieve Hanna’s money. —Wikipedia
Born in Haifa in 1950, as the second son of architect Munio Weinraub and former Sionist activist Efratia Margalit. On the year of his birth, his parents changed the family name to “Gitai”, which is the Hebrew translation of the German name “Weinraub”. While he was a student in architecture, Amos Gitai joined the Yom Kippur war in 1973 as a reserve duty officer, and served as part of a helicopter rescue team. While serving during the war, he started filming with a 8mm camera his mother gave him as his birthday present. On his 23rd birthday, October 11th 1973, his helicopter was shot down by a Syrian missile. Among the 7 crews on board, 6 of them survived, including Gitai himself, who was inspired by this traumatic experience to quit architecture and move to filmmaking. He made a documentary on this incident and his fellow survivors, “Kippur: War Memories” in 1993, then a fictional recreation of it “Kippur” in 2000.
in 1979, Gitai directed his first feature-length documentary “House”… read more
The strong female ensemble in Portman, Laslo and Abbass - an American, Israeli and Palestinian - underpin Gitai’s examination of conflict, identity and boundaries. Raw performances from all, matching the rather raw filmmaking: the unbroken nature of sequences, images and sounds leading to a sustained, engrossing effect, as emotions, tensions build, peak. Striking, indeed at times even stunning a mosaic; bringing to mind late ruminations of Godard’s (In Praise of Love’s montage, Notre musique’s conflict treatise).
This movie has a great opening scene; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuBo5z0fr8A One interpretation is that the song ''Chad Gadya'' is about the different nations that have conquered the Land of Israel: The kid symbolizes the Jewish people, the cat, Assyria; the dog, Babylon; the stick, Persia; the fire, Macedonia; the water, Rome; the ox, the Saracens; the slaughterer, the Crusaders; the angel of death, the Turks.
This Israeli film is so driven by the performance of its three main actress (salute to those three), but that's just it. The story is about three different woman caught in a somewhat road trip (road movie): an Israeli, a Palestinian, and an American caught in between. Sadly, there's nothing more about this one beside its astonishing performance.