Films from Israel in Pune

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Pune, November, 30 :As a tribute to the cinema of Israel, Pune International Centre in collaboration with NFAI and the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai will showcase a clutch of Israeli films at the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) during 6-9 December 2018.This is the twelth film festival organised by PIC. It will be inaugurated on 6th December at 6 PM by Dan Wolman, eminent filmmaker-playwright from Israel. His film, An Israeli Love Story, will be screened on the opening night. Also present will be Mr. Nimrod Kalmar, Deputy Consul General at the Consulate. The festival at NFAI is open to all and entry is free.

PIC’s efforts are to bring to our city’s audience the cinemas of Asian countries. These are cinemas of which, unfortunately, we know too little. In the past, PIC had turned the spotlight on Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Iran. This time, films from Israel will give the viewers an insight into the life and concerns of this young nation, into its realities of pleasure and pain, of journeys within and without.

The films are a mixed bag in terms of theme. There are stories of hidden and overt passions (Yana’s Friends and Strangers); of the social and political tensions in the country and the unexpected warmth between peoples that this can lead to (The Band’s Visit); of borders of different kinds (The Syrian Bride and Lemon Tree); of love during the birth of a nation (An Israeli Love Story); of tense and complicated interpersonal relationships (Passover Fever, My Michael and Footnote); of the pull of faith (My Father, My Lord) among others. There are strong stylised, art house films (Thirst) as well.

Most of the films have won multiple awards – some national and some international. Four of the films in this festival – Footnote, Yana’s Friends, My Michael and Time of Favour – were Israel’s submissions for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars in different years.

War and conflict have been among the themes that Israeli cinema has frequently tackled (even if it has recently moved away from it). So have the topics of emigration and immigration, religion, women, kibbutz and the Holocaust. Some of these themes do get reflected in different and oftentimes indirect ways in the films to be screened in Pune.