Tehilim (2007)

RAPHAEL NADJARI

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

France/Israel/USA, 2007.  BVNG Productions, Transfax Film Productions, 2.1 Films, Canal+, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Arte Cofinova, Shilo Films.   Screenplay by Raphael Nadjari, .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , , .  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

A father and his son driving to school get into a minor car accident; the boy goes to get help and, when he comes back, finds that his father has disappeared. From there begins an Israeli L’Avventura as this Orthodox family is rocked to the core, the mother pulling her resources together to make sure she keeps her family going, while her two boys deal with the sudden absence of their parent. Menachem is at an age where adulthood is only around the corner, and the awkward ways that teenagers mature into grownups are only made stranger by his having to deal with this tragedy without answers. Raphael Nadjari’s directorial effort doesn’t go very far deep beneath the surface, but the film is engaging and sympathetic, with great acting keeping it afloat and a muted sense of tragedy that never allows things to become overly sentimental.

Cannes Film Festival:  In Competition

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