Jerusalem Collection

Edited by Marlyn Vinig
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Movie Clips


The air above Jerusalem is rife with hopes and dreams

Like the air that hangs over industrial towns

It’s hard to breathe

(Yehuda Amichai)

Jerusalem is not made of stone but rather, of longing – a place built on longing and contradictions. An ancient city shrouded in mystery, that is also the capital of Israel and the country’s largest metropolis – a lively, bustling home to nearly one million residents of all faiths and denominations. Jerusalem’s sheer wealth of social diversity, for all its potential and inherent conflicts, has long made it a prime filming location since the earliest days of Israeli filmmaking. However, this past decade saw its popularity soar to new heights, both with local and foreign filmmakers. One may be tempted to assume that the reasons for that are the city’s several film schools and The Jerusalem Film & Television Fund that’s been known to offer a range of financial incentives to films in which the  city plays a major role – however, trawling through the archives reveals that Jerusalem has, in fact, long since been an onscreen fixture.

3,500 years’ worth of history, faith, war, architecture, and culture; 42 empires that have left their mark in countless songs, poems, books, and a range of other creative works of all media, styles, and genres – all of these comprise the geological layers of which the city is made. This collection will be film-centric, with a focus on narrative fiction – be it comedies, family dramas, tragedies, etc. – whose storylines all share the same Jerusalem setting.


“Anyone remember the German Colony’s Jerusalem Pool?” asked a member in one of my Facebook groups one morning which, of course, instantly triggered a tsunami of Likes and Shares. As a Jerusalemite, myself, my memory too had quite the jolt: how we would sneak into the pool at night, drunk on the delirium of youth. Those with a local’s perspective of the city will surely have their own distinct catalogue of places and locations that bring back waves of memories and nostalgia. Certain hangouts, schools and academic institutions, bus routes even! All these have featured prominently in films from this past decade.

In Joseph Cedar’s 2011 film, Footnote, both The Hebrew University and Rehavia [Jerusalem neighbourhood] played a key role in characterising the two main protagonists – a father and son, both of whom are professors in the Talmud department. In one of the film’s most mesmerising scenes, Prof. Uriel Skolnick (Lior Ashkenazi) is seen standing in the iconic and bleak Department of Education compound, on the corner of Hanevi’im and Shivtei Israel Street. Meanwhile, the camera lens appears to have picked up the nearby church steeples which, suddenly, endow the otherwise dreary compound with a deep, cosmic meaning (later, as the camera heads indoors, the corridors inside the Department of Education compound too, come alive). Emil Ben-Shimon’s 2016 film, The Women’s Balcony prominently features the city’s Bukharan Quarter, built in 1894 by Bukharan Jewish immigrants. The Moussaieff religious-traditional congregation, named after the community’s founding rabbi, Shlomo Moussaieff who built the neighbourhood’s first synagogue, sets the film’s whole atmosphere. Notably, the abovementioned films are but two examples.

A great many Jerusalemite film protagonists in fact originate in fine Hebrew literature. Two prime examples that come to mind are the protagonists of Yoram Kaniuk’s novel, Himmo, King of Jerusalem (adapted by Amos Guttman, 1987), and A.B. Yehoshua’s Three Days and a Child (Uri Zohar, 1967). Jerusalem fairy tales, too – the majority of which are of theological origins, have ended up in Israeli cinemas after being adapted to the big screen.

This collection will be exploring Jerusalem in contemporary film, from an acknowledgement of the profound transformation the city’s image has undergone in recent years (2010-2022). Twenty-first century Jerusalem boasts the iconic Chords Bridge (aka Bridge of Strings), built at the main entrance to the city which is gradually seeing its own skyline transform with an increasing number of high risers popping up all over town. A capital city where foreign consulates and government offices have been relocating their offices, and where arts and culture centres have been opening up left, right, and centre. A Jerusalem of listed and restored synagogues that is also a bustling metropolis with an eye-wateringly huge underground national rail station, and whose main mode of local rapid transport is the city’s [and as of now, Israel’s only] light rail network.

But as the progress juggernaut ploughs on, it seems as if on top of the Old City walls, Jerusalem has seen many other invisible walls erected where those who pass through can’t help but intermingle – from the staunchly secular vs. the increasingly radicalised ultraorthodox, to East Jerusalem Arabs absorbed into the city’s urbanised Western ways, and the nonstop traffic of tourists and  migrants – Israeli and foreign in equal measure – some of whom are only passing through for hours if not days, whereas others end up staying for decades. And just as the city’s fault lines remain ever-changing, so do the relationships between its denizens. The following collection brings you a taste of all of the above.

Movie clips


A Jerusalemite’s essence is waiting (or watching, depending on who you ask)

There’s a short scene in Boaz Yehonatan Yaacov and Yossi Madmoni’s Redemption where the main protagonist is out on the street, looking at a pigeon. “If that pigeon flies off right now, then that is a sign that there is a G*d,” he tells himself. “If that pigeon flies off,” he mutters on to himself and eventually commands it to “fly!” Only the pigeon doesn’t quite comply. This scene, alone, successfully brings Menachem, the film protagonist who has become religious, from a place of longing for the unknown and the sanctum sanctorum back down to a tangible reality, riddled with doubt.

Yaacov and Madmoni’s take on the newly religious is a loving albeit questioning one. Menachem is torn between what he aspires to and what is actually attainable to him. The whole process of becoming religious involves a ‘comedown’ stage – a reckoning. Waking up is hard to do; much harder than anyone might realise. In a world where every act of relinquishing one’s past is a privilege; where every good deed is a virtue towards one’s afterlife, and where any and all materialistic/earthly urges are a never-ending battle to conquer one’s desires – the bar, sometimes, is still set too high. In that sense, Menachem epitomises the newly religious’ most sublime dream and their rude awakening from it.

Menachem works as a supermarket shop assistant. He is a single father whose daughter has cancer. As the cost of her treatments continues to soar, he realises he must come up with a creative way to still be able to afford them. At this point, he gets the idea to stage a musical comeback. In his secular days, Menachem was the frontman of a successful rock band. Now, he decides to reach out to his former bandmates and propose a reunion as a Jewish rock outfit that would play at weddings. The rekindling of the friendship with his former bandmates who have stayed secular changes Menachem’s life and illustrates the collision of the two worlds – with old, unsettled scores rearing their heads again in their relationships as a pertinent reminder that the past never really stays in the past but lingers on, hovering – like a ghost.

The Unorthodox

The ultraorthodox Mizrahi Jerusalemite – the “triple threat” as never before seen

The Unorthodox, a film by Eliran Malka, represents a fresh ultraorthodox voice in Israeli film. And the scene that best captures this emergent voice is the one where Yaakov Cohen (Shuli Rand), a widower and printshop owner, storms into the Bais Yaakov Girls’ Seminary where his daughter (Or Lumbrozo) goes to school, to protest her expulsion from this academic institution. As the plot unfolds, it turns out that her expulsion was, in fact, without cause or merit. “Incompatibility,” the official reason cited, turns out to be no more than lazy, disgraceful lip service aimed to cover up the real reason for her expulsion – her ethnicity; or in other words, good old-fashioned racism.

This individual case of the widower’s daughter also highlights The Unorthodox’s broader social message which takes a highly critical tone with regards to ultraorthodox society’s political representation in Israel. Women, for instance, remain personae non gratae in ultraorthodox political parties, even in the 21st century. The film, however, makes a point of reminding us how back in the day, before SHAS (An ultraorthodox, Mizrahi-centric political party) was established in Jerusalem in 1983 – Mizrahi Jews were also excluded en masse from ultraorthodox society’s political bodies which, at the time, were dominated exclusively by Ashkenazi sects. And therein lies the focal point of the film – that moment in time when that reality began to change, and the fact that even the most hardline, idealistic revolutionaries were all too willing to quickly to fall back into their old, morally abject ways.

When the protagonists of The Unorthodox move about the streets of Jerusalem, you cannot help but wonder – where are all the Ashkenazis??? Could the city streets only be teeming with ultraorthodox Mizrahi Jews? And where are all the broadsides [aka ‘pashkevils’]? And the posters exclaiming “Hear ye! Hear ye!” in all caps. And whilst we’re on the subject of SHAS, where is Rabbi [Yitzhak] Kaduri? In a way, Eliran Malka’s version of Jerusalem sets up a realistic point of departure from which it springboards into fictional realms where the social sect from which you hail seems to have grown to mammoth size and for a moment, you might even think it comprised the whole world.

A Tramway in Jerusalem

A series of characters, a series of stations

“I’m Russian,” says one woman as the light rail speeds along the streets of Jerusalem.” Another one interjects. “I’m Polish,” she says. “I’m German,” an additional voice is heard. “I’m Israeli and Jewish, of course,” another woman chimes in. The eclectic feel created by this colourful assortment of women in this scene is, of course, anything but random. It is one of Jerusalem’s most prominent features.

One might describe Amos Gitai’s A Tramway in Jerusalem as a cinematic showcase of the city’s Jaffa Rd. – the assortment of characters who frequent it, the light rail stations along the route, and the bustling life in the background. And just as the trains pass each other by, as do the street protagonists. The scenes intertwine, time becomes blurry, all is woven together poetically and haphazardly on board this urban train of thought – and it is all so temporary and oh-so transient. Gitai’s Jerusalem is portrayed here as a city without its king; an opinion without its mouthpiece; an ache without its cure. The light rail, a relatively new addition to Jerusalem’s topography, is a symbol of urban innovation in the Israeli landscape. Meanwhile Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – and with them, Jerusalem’s entire history as a holy city to all three major religions remain but a spectral presence haunting the frame.

Beyond the Mountains and Hills

Beyond Jerusalem’s Separation Barrier

This scene captures a true local paradox: the air raid siren (not a drill) is sounded with an accompanying classical music soundtrack. The melody, it seems, almost preserves the chaos in the routine, as if it were a ritual with its own inherent structure and predetermined codes. Yifat, the girl standing there watching this absurdist scenario play out, knows that a whole people are out there – living beyond the mountains and hills, and the separation barrier. Meanwhile, there is the sight of students running for shelter during the air raid siren and putting on their gas masks – an illustration of the danger posed to them by this people.

Beyond the Mountains and Hills, a film by director Eran Kolirin, is a modern-day Israeli fairy tale, a-la This is our Life. This is best illustrated by Kolirin’s choice to feature a passage from David Avidan’s poem, Power of Attorney, at the start of the film:


What best justifies

the loneliness, the great despair,

the bizarre shouldering of the burden of

profound loneliness and great despair

is the simple, cutting fact

that, essentially, we have nowhere to go.


Kolirin’s choice to draw us into the fictional world of the film with Avidan’s poignant words is anything but arbitrary. He has created a middle-class Israeli family living in the Greater Jerusalem area that he portrays simply and straightforwardly, and without any excessive, over-the-top trimmings. However, peel a couple of surface layers off this so-called garden variety family and you discover a deep emotional wound and profound existential angst hanging over their home.


A nocturnal, nostalgic fantasy in the secular streets of Jerusalem

Honeymood, a film by Talya Lavie, follows the tale of one unorthodox wedding night, in the aftermath of which an explosion of unbridled, unapologetic women’s liberty ensues. A female journey towards decoding the image of the bride – the virgin, the sainted, the tortured, the wedded, etc., which kicks off already in the very first shot of the film. When Eleanor (Avigail Harari) and Noam (Ran Danker) check into the prestigious bridal suite at Jerusalem’s Waldorf Astoria hotel that’s packed to the brim with gifts following their wedding reception, it somehow seems as though they are two strangers. Their intimacy seems unsettled and riddled with distrust. After the official union, the couple’s intimate union is due to take place but in Honeymood, nothing quite goes according to plan: the couple prepare for the consummation ‘ceremony’ which they rehearse as if they were rehearsing a play, only to then get locked out of the room. Eleanor, at one point, even finds a letter from Noam’s ex in her newlywed husband’s trouser pocket. From that point on, the plot grows into a series of chance encounters and amusing surprises that play out in the course of a sleepless journey out and about Jerusalem.

The bride, who is also a drama teacher, comes across as a bold and borderline grotesque character, complete with traits and motifs reminiscent of Nissim Aloni’s bride in his play, The Bride and the Butterfly Hunter. Lavie, like Aloni in his plays, uses elements of the fantastic and the surreal which she weaves into the plot’s otherwise realistic blueprint. However, whereas Aloni’s bride ended up opting out of her own wedding, Lavie’s bride opts out of consummating her marriage. And even if it is suggested that in the end, it was all in her head, Lavie nonetheless delivers a wholesome and fascinating female character, whilst taking on the “trainwreck” typecast, unflinchingly, which she wholly embraces and takes all the way.

Legend of Destruction

The destruction of the Holy Temple, a historical Jerusalem icon

Already in the opening scene of Gidi Dar’s Legend of Destruction, Ben Batich addresses the Lord with several morally themed questions: “Behold, my Lord, for there are those who tread silk woven rugs, and those fighting for the scraps.” He cannot reconcile how this could possibly be God’s will. He can’t make sense of reality. Like the hero of a Greek tragedy, he just carries on his way, still none the wiser but with the hope that God really does see into your soul and, in his own words, that He knows that “what I have done, was not for mine own sake.” Ben Batich does not understand the battle between matter – embodied by the Romans, and mind – which the Torah epitomises. Those who do include Berenice, Queen of Judaea, who holds Jerusalem near and dear to her heart, and Rabbi Ben Zakkai who knows the Temple’s destruction is imminent.

Variations on Legend of Destruction appear in the Gittin and Taanis volumes of the Mishna and Talmud, in the Midrash Rabbah on The Book of Lamentations, and in the Talmud tale of Avot de-Rabbi Nathan. All these retellings of the legend of the temple’s destruction outline the processes that led to the destruction of the Second Holy Temple, at the heart of which was futile hatred (“the Temple fell at the hands of futile hatred.”) The film Legend of Destruction was made using a unique and utterly breath-taking animation technique: it is made up of over 1,500 static drawings done by artists David Polonsky and Michael Faust (who had previously collaborated on Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir.) It is the story of the fall of Jerusalem, told through contemporary audiovisual animated tools – the choice of which boasts both courage and innovation.

The Other Story

The God Finders: The Story of Jerusalem’s ‘Haredification’

Director Avi Nesher’s The Other Story is a proverbial lie detector test for Israeli reality. A film that vocalises thoughts which very rarely make it out of anyone’s lips. In one of the scenes, Anat – who is on the path to ultraorthodox Judaism, is trying on a dress which she wants to be as modest “as possible.” However, her secular mother then chimes in with some commentary of her own, “Any more modest and he [the groom] won’t even know he’s marrying a woman!” A scene that captures the chasm between Anat’s newly adopted worldview of what a woman’s image should be, and her mother’s.

Many scenes in The Other Story were shot in Jerusalem’s alleyways, along the fault lines between the old and the new. And much like their visual representation, plot-wise too, the protagonists move towards changes and transitions – from the new secular world, into an altogether different world. Director Avi Nesher, with all the weight of the moviemaking brand that is ‘Avi Nesher’ also takes a tremendously bold step here into the world beyond secularism. Like his other films, The Other Story also delves into Israeli reality – only this time from the scarcely explored point-of-view of the newly religious, and especially in a Jerusalem setting. Nesher co-wrote the screenplay with Noam Shpancer Ph.D., a psychologist whose daughter became ultraorthodox.

Jerusalem’s old geo-social divisions that used to divide the city have long shifted beyond any original boundary lines. The parallel trends of the ultraorthodox turning to secularism, and vice versa, have undermined much of Jerusalem’s most fundamental fault lines, both amongst the secular and ultraorthodox. The sense of social and individual identity has become that much more dynamic, fluid, and elusive than before, which perhaps is why it seems to offer neither comfort nor respite to anyone. The Other Story is made in a time when much of the ultraorthodox community’s film representation is unsympathetic, at best. Nesher, on the other hand, proposes a far less judgemental point of view, rich with humanity.


Portrait of a Family

In one Indoors scene, director Eitan Green’s seventh feature film, we meet basketball coach and history teacher, Yechiel Dolberg (Arie Tcherner) whose family all perished in the Holocaust. Now, his home is in the process of being let out. Along the way, one cannot help but ponder whether the family is home or if, in fact it is the home, itself, that is family. The portrait of the modern family which the film paints before us, a Jerusalemite family in this instance, thoroughly unravels the concept of being ‘middleclass,’ at the heart of which is the home which, of course, is middleclass and bourgeois. Green’s characters have an Israeli air of yore to them, which allows the father – despite his woes and the pit of despair he’s found himself in – to carry on projecting kindness and good, even when the bailiffs have him against the wall and his entire life’s work is about to be wiped out.

Between Worlds

Going secular, a terrorist attack, a guy in a coma, an Arab girlfriend, and a religious family – can they all mesh together?

In a film that explores a family row and a newly secular Jew’s love for a young Arab woman, viewers are shown a glimpse of the fine unravelling of Jerusalem’s fault lines. Representing the to and fro movement between these two worlds is the Jerusalem Light Rail; already in the opening scene, we meet the two main protagonists: the ultraorthodox mother and the Arab girlfriend as they both rush to the same train platform – en route to the hospital where their beloved son and partner has been taken after being seriously injured in a terrorist attack.

Between Worlds, a film by Miya Hatav, takes on questions of sanctity and truth, which it does with uncompromising inner integrity – leaving room for doubt and for questioning, but never burning any bridges. The terrorist attack forces the family to look inwards and stare directly into their own internal rift. As their critically ill son lies comatose in hospital, his family members rally around him after five years of estrangement – the result of his decision to turn his back on religion and become secular. The father – a religious scribe (aka ‘sopher’) is man whose Sisyphean adherence to tradition and faith has dulled him to any pain. The mother, meanwhile, is a woman who has made all the standard sacrifices demanded of a religious woman and spent most of her life raising the kids. Their crisis, however, only deepens on discovering the identity of the son’s girlfriend – she is an Arab, just like the terrorist who’d perpetrated the attack.

A Quiet Heart

Inside Jerusalem

Eitan Anner’s A Quiet Heart, starring Ania Bukstein, tells the tale of a fractured Jerusalem and the fight against the city’s ‘Haredification,’ specifically in the increasingly ultraorthodox neighbourhood of Kiryat HaYovel. The rift through the neighbourhood is portrayed through Naomi’s story, who finds herself facing multiple crises: her partner breaks up with her out of the blue, her parents are constantly on her back, and her career as a classical musician is stalling. Naomi decides (as we find out, after the fact) to drown out all the noise and voices in her ear, leave Tel Aviv, and start afresh in Jerusalem.

She chooses Kiryat HaYovel as the rent is cheap there but somehow, unwittingly, ends up at the centre of a row between secular and ultraorthodox locals. The flat she moves into is shrouded in mystery following the sudden, unexplained death of the previous occupant. As she settles in, she gets to know her ultraorthodox next-door neighbour, a hard-living widow (the brilliant Irit Kaplan) and her six children. One of whom, Simcha (Lior Lifshitz), loves to play the piano and even ends up breaking into Naomi’s home and risking his life in the process – all for the music.

The plot thickens when Naomi ends up in an Ein Karem monastery, her heart racing after a run. There, she is profoundly moved by the music being played, and crosses paths with the abbot, Brother Fabrizio (Giorgio Lupano) who tries to teach her how to play the harpsicord. The two form a deep musical bond; her sessions with Fabrizio help Naomi pull herself together from all the recent turmoil, and it seems as though she is starting to get her spark back. Only the locals don’t seem to take too kindly to her frequenting the monastery and conclude that she is somehow colluding with the Christian mission.

Music, as a bonding vehicle – between Naomi and Simcha, and between Fabrizio and Naomi – manages to tie together three Jerusalemite communities that are otherwise completely and utterly alien to each other.


Zion Square, demonstration square

Director Yaron Zilberman’s film, Incitement, takes on one of Israeli society’s deepest collective traumas – the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin – as told through the character of the assassin, murderer Yigal Amir. The film attempts a glimpse into the trauma’s subconscious, and to tell the untold story of the path that led Amir to commit murder. One of the film’s most powerful moments is the harsh exchange between father and son where the killer (Yehuda Nahari Halevi) is told by his father, Shlomo (Amitay Yaish Ben Ousilio) that the path he has taken is not the way of the Torah.

The film’s realistic aspect is further heightened by an unusual artistic choice – mixing real-life archival TV footage together with the scripted scenes; much of which features scenes from Jerusalem, including Zion Square as the setting of heated political demonstrations (pro and antipeace) – and in the aftermath of the murder, as a space of grief covered in jahrzeit (memorial) candles.


Jerusalem of the shadow organisations

Mossad is an outlandish farce about Israeli security and the country’s permanent state of emergency that feeds its existence. Mossad’s brave fighters are all spectacularly stupid and never miss an opportunity to miss the mark – however, every mistake they make somehow leads to yet another mission success, even more farfetched than its predecessor. The decision to shoot large portions of the film in Jerusalem (this being its second version from which this scene is taken) allowed the creators to fully tap into the city’s tremendous cinematic potential with all its iconic roads; something which rarely happens in Israeli film. Take the car chase scene for instance, during which the Chords Bridge collapses, string by string, in total disharmony.

US screenwriter and director, David Zucker who is known from a string of hit spoofs and comedies such as Airplane!, Top Secret!, and The Naked Gun franchise worked as a creative consultant on the film with its Israeli creators. And indeed, his imprint is unmistakable. What is more, Zucker himself even makes a brief cameo, moments before the world and all the screens cave in.

Red Cow

A Jerusalem Metaphor for one’s sanctum sanctorum

Red Cow’s inciting incident is the announcement that a red calf has been born. According to Jewish tradition (halacha), the ashes of a red cow shall purge the dead of all their sins. Widower Yehoshua (played by Gal Toren) tasks his only daughter, Binyamina (aka Beni, played by Avigail Kovari), to look after the young calf on whose tender shoulders the people of Israel’s salvation rests – soon enough, the two form a special bond.

The wait for imminent salvation ends up on a collision course with the bitter row between the father and daughter and their surroundings – the pair live in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan. The father’s politics are on the ultranationalist side of the spectrum (“evicting [the settlement of] Amuna is just like rape”) whereas his teenage daughter is on a self-discovery journey, at the end of which she realises she is a lesbian. One of the more dominant artistic themes in the film is the colour red – a pagan motif, suggestive of human sacrifice: Benny’s red hair, the red piece of string tied round her wrist and of course, the colour of the newborn calf’s fur.


A tangled relationships in a Jerusalem garage

The industrial area in [the neighbourhood of] Talpiot is packed with garages which one could easily drive right past without batting an eyelid. In Laces, Reuven (Doval’e Glickman) is a Jerusalemite mechanic in his late ‘50s who spends most of his days in the garage. In the film’s opening scene, an emergency phone call sends him rushing to the funeral of ex-wife, Rachel. During the funeral, we learn that Reuven has a son – Gaddy (Nevo Kimchi), who is an adult living with autism. Social worker Ilana (the brilliant Evelin Hagoel) advises Reuven that now that his mother has died, Gaddy would have to stay at his dad’s until space for him in a quality special needs hostel becomes available.

This is quite a shock to the system for Reuven who, by now is so used to living on his own, but he must oblige. And thus begins a belated relationship between the highly repressed son and his father. Later, the father is diagnosed with an illness, and it emerges that his son could potentially save him, as they are blood relations. A great many films have been made about father and son relationships, and one could hardly be faulted for thinking nothing new could be brought to the table. And yet in Laces, seasoned director, Jacob Goldwasser (following a filmmaking hiatus over a decade long) successfully crafts and delivers an altogether different point-of-view on parenthood and the relationship between fathers and sons.

Courtesy of Transfax Films.

The Cakemaker

Behind the scenes of a Jerusalem café

The Cakemaker, a film by director Ofir Raul Grazier, opens on an ambivalent note. On the one hand – there is an element of Berlin foreignness and on the other, an Israeli protagonist and an innocuous encounter at a patisserie: the smell of coffee and pastry dough, the kneading hand, a Black Forest gateau… but whilst the work is routine, the atmosphere is that of a fateful crossroads. Oren (Roy Miller) is a married Israeli architect and father to a young boy. He meets Thomas (Tim Kalkhof), a single Berliner pastry chef, and the two fall in love; however an unexpected accident puts an abrupt end to their forbidden romance. Oren dies.

Left behind with a gaping hole in his heart, Thomas decides to set off to Israel in search of the life Oren left behind. His widow, Anat (the ever-extraordinary Sarah Adler) is raising their son whilst running a Jerusalem café, all the while trying to come to terms with this new reality. Oren’s religious family (his brother, Motti, played by Zohar Strauss and his mother, Hannah, played by Sandra Sade) meanwhile, are urging her to toe the [traditional] line and obtain a standard orthodox rabbinate kosher certificate for her café.

Then, out of nowhere, comes Thomas who goes for a job at the café – and is hired. And whilst he does not disclose to Anat the truth about his relationship with her late husband, his presence at the café in the meantime becomes increasingly prominent. At the same time, he also starts playing a much greater role in both Anat and her son’s emotional life, and in Oren’s mother’s too. Thomas’s golden touch – with hands so sensitive and attuned to quantities, mixtures, and aromas –pierce right through the screen, whilst at the same time also reaching Anat’s heart. The Jerusalem café is given a major upgrade and in the process, bit by bit, the film’s storyline takes a series of increasingly complex, unlikely turns.

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