Stones

1 hour and 52 Minutes and 56 seconds , 2004
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Directed by: Raphael Nadjari
Production: TransFax Film Productions

Assi Levi stars in Raphaël Nadjari’s film as Michal, a married woman and mother controlled by two men. One is her father, Meir (Uri Gavriel) who is also her superior in the accounting firm which he manages that mostly caters to ultra-Orthodox institutions. The other is her husband Shmulik (Danny Steg), with whom she’s had a deeply fractured relationship for a while now. Michal finds solace in an affair she has been having with another man, however a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv puts a pin in that relationship, and forces her to confront her father and husband in a showdown for which she ends up paying a hefty price indeed
Stones is screenwriter and director, Raphaël Nadjari’s fourth film. For French-native Nadjari, this was his first time filming in Israel (His previous films include The Shadow (1999), I am Josh Polonsky’s Brother (2001), and Apartment 5C (2002). Nadjari and cinematographer, Laurent Brunet, opt for a realistic, film aesthetic and do not shy away from long shots and lengthy scenes – which lend the film a point-of-view different to what we, by then, had come to expect from Israeli films dealing with traditional Middle-Eastern society. The result is a bold and unique piece that, with time, has only got better.
The film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and was later shown at numerous others (including the Jerusalem Film Festival), taking home scores of awards including both the Geneva and Seville film festivals’ top honours. The film even won Assi Levy a European Film Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, alongside the likes of Imelda Staunton and Penelope Cruz.

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