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Foreign Film - Israel - For My Father

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For My Father - Sof Shavua B'Tel Aviv
Shredi Jabarin, Hili Yalon, Shlomo Vishinsky
Directed by Dror Zahavi
Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles
Israel 2008
Film Movement 2010
96 minutes

For My Father is the June 2010 foreign film DVD release from Film Movement. Film Movement means excellent, original, and unusual films. This is of course the case for this 2008 production from Israel. For My Father is so many things it is impossible to pigeonhole it as a love story, human drama, or social drama.

Two men pick up a twenty-something Palestinian named Tarek, set him up with an explosive device, and drop him off in Tel Aviv where he is to blow himself up in a busy street market. Through a series of circumstances, Tarek meets Keren, a twenty-something Jewish girl shunned by her family who operates a little convenience store, and befriends Katz, a Romanian Jew who runs an electronics store.

As For My Father progresses you get to discover a little more about each character and the origins of each character's pain.

This foreign film DVD works in part because everything is so mundane. This in part supports the idea that all these people are not that different after all. Tarek's family, Keren's family, Katz' family are all connected fillialy.

It is difficult to reveal more about this Israeli film without revealing elements that are at its core.

Suffice to say this movie is not really about a suicide bomber. Even if you are a major foreign film fan, it certainly does not stories do not evolve how you might expect them to.

The short film included in this Film Movement DVD is Ali & The Ball, an Australian short directed by Alex Holmes. Like the main feature, it is excellent. A young boy living in a refugee camp befriends a young girl on the other side of the camp fence. The story involves knitting, a small soccer ball, and knitting needles. Again, you have to see Ali & the Ball to get how wonderful and sad it is.

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