Personal Affairs

In Nazareth, an old couple lives wearily to the rhythm of the daily routine. On the other side of the border, in Ramallah, their son Tarek wishes to remain an eternal bachelor, their daughter is about to give birth while her husband lands a movie role and the grandmother loses her head… Between check-points and dreams, frivolity and politics, some want to leave, others want to stay but all have personal affairs to resolve.

Beyond the Mountains and Hills

David is discharged from the army after serving for 27 years. He returns to his family after being distanced from them for years and tries to find himself in his new civilian life. He believes that he will find his way in some managerial position in the private sector, but he has difficulties adapting to the pace of the “new Israel”, a competitive culture obsessed with success and money. More often than not, he finds himself alone at home, watching a morning TV-show or listening to the radio. When a friend suggests working for a company that markets dietary supplements, he sees this as an opportunity to get his foot in the door of the business world and make something of himself. But this decision slowly gets him and his family entangled in the web of dark forces that rule life in Israel. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]


A photographer and his wife travel across Armenia photographing churches for a calendar project. Travelling with them is a local man acting as their driver and guide. As the project nears completion, the distance between husband and wife grows.

Rise of the Guardians

When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world.

Igor & the Cranes’ Journey

An estranged father and son are brought together by a young crane named Karl as they trace a family of the birds on their migratory journey from Russia to Africa. (TIFF)


On 4 April, 2011 Palestinian-Jewish actor, director and peace activist Juliano Mer-Khamis was murdered. He was the founder of the Freedom Theatre in Jenin, a Palestinian refugee camp on Jordan’s West Bank. The theatre aims to provide young people with a place to develop their own artistic resistance against patriarchal oppression and the Israeli occupation. “Juliano put us on stage and we will stay on stage.” Taking their inspiration from well-known literary protagonists, director Udi Aloni and three young Palestinian actors follow Juliano’s lead and use their radical imagination in an unpredictably brutal environment to create an artistic form of rebellion: Mariam Abu Khaled brings together Palestinian children from both sides of the wall for a performance of ‘Alice in Wonderland’; Udi Aloni transforms his grief following the loss of his friend into a trauma-loop in his adaptation of ‘Waiting for Godot’; and actor Batoul Taleb explores the meaning of friendship. Finally, Juliano’s daughter Milay investigates the mysteries of the male concept of honour and the male propensity for violence in her version of ‘Antigone’. [Courtesy of Berlinale]

A Film Unfinished

Yael Hersonski’s powerful documentary achieves a remarkable feat through its penetrating look at another film-the now-infamous Nazi-produced film about the Warsaw Ghetto. Discovered after the war, the unfinished work, with no soundtrack, quickly became a resource for historians seeking an authentic record, despite its elaborate propagandistic construction. The later discovery of a long-missing reel complicated earlier readings, showing the manipulations of camera crews in these “everyday” scenes. Well-heeled Jews attending elegant dinners and theatricals (while callously stepping over the dead bodies of compatriots) now appeared as unwilling, but complicit, actors, alternately fearful and in denial of their looming fate.

Defamation (Hashmatsa)

Intent on shaking up the ultimate ‘sacred cow’ for Jews, Israeli director Yoav Shamir embarks on a provocative – and at times irreverent – quest to answer the question, “What is anti-Semitism today?”


Alienated from a society that no longer seems to have a place for them, two elderly ex-soldiers undertake a vigilante campaign against injustice and disrespect on the streets of Tel Aviv. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]

Youth (2014)

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]