Two must-see films featured at this year’s Israel Film Festival in Montreal

Apples From the Desert by Directors Matti Harari and Arik Lubetzki is an older Israeli version of the current Netflix series Unorthodox, a story about a young girl who grows up in the Satmar Hassidic sect in Brooklyn and runs away from her marriage. Apples From the Desert tells a similar story, an Israeli daughter, raised in an orthodox community in Jerusalem, who runs away to a boyfriend in a secular kibbutz in the desert, the Negev of Israel.

In both films, an adolescent chafes at the restrictions imposed by the Orthodox community norms. In Apples From the Desert, the father takes on the controlling role – worried about his daughter’s budding sexuality.

Chained by director Yaron Shani, tackles the same theme of the male ego dealing with adolescent sexuality but this time in a secular context. A policeman deals with his teenage stepdaughter’s budding sexuality while being investigated for “sexual harassment”.

What I liked about these two movies was the opportunity to explore the male characters and their conflicts in attempting to live “a good life,” each within his sphere of influence.

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