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Friday, October 25, 2013
Review: Bethlehem (Yuval Adler, 2013 [Jewish International Film Festival])
On top of winning Best Film at Venice Days and winning 6 Ophir Awards, including Best Film and Director, Bethlehem has recently been selected to represent Israel in the Foreign Language category at the 2013 Academy Awards. This tense political thriller, co-written by Ali Waked – an Arab journalist who spent years in the West Bank and built this screenplay from his research – and Yuval Adler (who directs his debut feature), depicts the increasingly tense relationship between a Shin Bet investigator and his young Palestinian informant and will likely generate some divisive word of mouth when it screens at the Jewish International Film Festival (Sydney, 30 October – 17 November).
Interestingly, representing Palestine for Best Foreign Language Film is Hany Abu-Assad’s Omar, which covers very similar themes – the Israeli Secret Service attempt to recruit a desperate young Palestinian man, imprisoned following the murder of an Israeli soldier, as an informant.