Our Picks: 5 Unmissable Films at Seret 2017

If you’ve bought your tickets for the NIF sponsored Between Worlds and Disturbing the Peace at Seret this year and you still haven’t quenched your thirst for good film then look no further than these 5 unmissable options!

Sand Storm

If you missed Sand Storm the first time around, sponsored by New Israel Fund at the UK International Jewish Film Festival back in November, you now have a second chance to catch this stunning debut feature from Elite Zexer, winner of a clutch of international awards including the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.  It offers a unique insight into life inside a Bedouin village and the conflict between progressive and traditional values, particularly for female members of the society.

As wedding festivities get underway in a Bedouin village in Southern Israel, Jalila finds herself in the awkward position of hosting her husband Suliman’s marriage to a second,
much younger wife. During the celebration, Jalila stumbles across her eldest daughter Layla’s involvement with a boy from her university—a strictly forbidden liaison that would shame the family. Burying the indignity of Suliman and his new bride living next door, Jalila also tries to contain Layla’s situation by clamping down on her. But younger and possessed of a boundless spirit, Layla sees a different life for herself.

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The Women’s Balcony

A huge success in Israel, this comedy drama, directed by Emil Ben-Shimon, is about brave, strong women, full of passion for life, who take the power into their own hands when confronted by a Rabbi full of blind faith. When the women’s balcony collapses during a bar mitzvah, the new rabbi declares it’s because the women weren’t dressing with enough modesty. When the temporary synagogue opens, the women are shocked to find the new facilities don’t include a balcony for them. The ladies soon decide to fight back against his ultra-traditionalist beliefs, while raising money to repair the “women’s balcony” in the synagogue.

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Dimona Twist

Solange, Sonia, Ilana, Alice, Huguette, Esther and Hana. Seven women arrive in Israel by ship in the 1950s and 1960s and are sent straight to Dimona.
They now share their life stories, never told before, intertwined with images from private
and public archives, from their own candid perspectives. What happened in the first fifteen years to the girls and women who arrived with their families from North Africa and Poland and found themselves building a town in the middle of the desert?
They talk about the pain of leaving their homes behind, about poverty and the difficulties of adjusting in their new homeland, and about their determined attempts to create rich and meaningful lives with humour, sorrow and dignity.

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Home Port

From Erez Tadmor, the award-winning Director of ‘Wounded Land’, comes a story of corruption and deceit at the seaport of Ashdod in his latest drama ‘Homeport’, starring Yoram Hattab and Shmil Ben Ari who were both nominated in the Israeli Academy Awards for their roles in this film.
Aaron, a veteran seaman, returns to land, to his home port, after 30 years at sea with the
view to mending relations with his daughter. He accepts an administrative position at the Ashdod Port and soon finds himself in confrontation with its corrupt and bullying leader, who he once saw as a true friend of his family. But there’s a bigger issue which will raise its head, the threat of privatisation, bringing its own tensions and divisions.

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Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?

Another masterpiece from the Heymann Brothers, Israel’s most acclaimed documentary-making team.
Saar, a 39-year-old ex-Israeli army paratrooper living in London, finds out that he is HIV positive. He embarks on a journey of reconciliation, filmed over several years, with his religious family in Israel.
After being kicked out of his conservative kibbutz because of his sexual orientation, Saar flees to London where he enjoys a gay lifestyle denied to him in Israel. He lives the dream, but wakes up to a nightmare when he discovers that he has contracted HIV. When he breaks the news to his family, they struggle with fears and prejudices.
With the support of Saar’s surrogate brothers – the London Gay Men’s Chorus who supply an amazing and moving score for the documentary – he begins a reconciliation process with his family.

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