Top Picks at Montreal Israeli Film Festival

Apples From the Desert,” directed by Matti Harari and Arik Lubetzki, is a captivating precursor to the current Netflix series “Unorthodox.” The film delves into the narrative of a young Israeli girl raised within the confines of an orthodox community in Jerusalem. Parallel to the storyline of “Unorthodox,” the protagonist rebels against the constraints of her conservative upbringing, seeking refuge in a secular kibbutz nestled in the Negev desert.

“Apples From the Desert” takes a different approach than its counterpart. It puts the father in a central role, grappling with concerns over his daughter’s burgeoning sexuality. This dynamic shift adds a layer of complexity to the exploration of societal norms and familial relationships in the orthodox setting.

Similarly, in “Chained,” directed by Yaron Shani, the film explores the complexities of male ego and adolescent sexuality in a secular context. The movie unfolds against the backdrop of a police investigation into “sexual harassment,” intertwining the personal struggles of a policeman with the challenges of parenting his teenage stepdaughter.

What sets these two films apart is the chance they give viewers to explore the inner struggles of male characters trying to live ‘a good life’ in their different worlds. The directors skillfully navigate societal expectations and personal desires, presenting a nuanced portrayal of the human experience. As the stories unfold, delving into these male characters becomes a captivating way to examine the complex interplay of conflicting values and personal choices, adding depth to the overall narrative of both films.

 

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