Natalie Portman’s directorial debut “A Tale of Love and Darkness” had its world premiere this spring at Cannes, and now we (finally!) have an international trailer for the drama. Based on Amos Oz’s memoir about his complicated relationship with his family, in particular his depressive mother Fania (played here by Portman), the conflicts within the Oz home are set against the wider backdrop of national tensions in a nascent Israel. (Like our colleagues at The Playlist, we wouldn’t be surprised if the film gets added to TIFF’s lineup in the coming weeks; Portman is already scheduled to appear at a fundraising event for the festival.)
In addition to helming and starring, Portman penned the script for the Hebrew-language film. Sadly, this trailer doesn’t include subtitles, but it’s still a nice hint of what to expect, both of the plot and of Portman’s directing style. We also get the sense that Portman gave herself an award-worthy role. After a doctor delivers bad news to a devastated Fania, she is seen slapping herself repeatedly — a form of self-abuse later mimicked by her young son.
No word on a theatrical release date for “A Tale of Love and Darkness” just yet.