Brothers Yaki and Shaul live with their parents in Petah Tikva, a satellite town of Tel Aviv. Yaki is doing military service. As for all other 18-year-old Israelis, this means he is allowed to carry a gun. This weapon gives the brothers the power to change their lives and that of their family – or so they believe.
This unusual coming-of-age story marks director and film critic Tom Shoval’s feature-length debut. His film is a meticulous delineation of the close bond existing between the brothers and the unchanging aspects of their young lives: their daily routine, their family, their neighbourhood, and their country.
Their now unemployed father descends into depression and the family is on the brink of losing their apartment. While Yaki is on a tour of duty, Shaul pursues a pretty young girl, filming her every move on his mobile phone and sending his brother the clips. They kidnap the girl, hide her in a cellar and then place a call demanding a huge ransom for her release. But they’ve forgotten that today is Shabbat and their victim’s orthodox family will not answer the phone. Time starts to run out … [Courtesy of Berlinale]