Daughters, Daughters

88 Minutes, 1973
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Directed by: Moshe Mizrachi
Production Company:Noah Films
Photographer: Adam Greenberg
Language: Hebrew
| Subtitles not available

Director Moshè Mizrahi’s film came into being after producer, Menahem Golan, had promised actor and leading man, Shaike Ophir, to make a film based on his successful skit of the same title, and get Mizrahi on board to direct. And indeed, Ophir and Mizrahi penned the script together and ended up with a somewhat maudlin comedy with all the bones and DNA of early 1970s’ lowbrow ‘Bourekas’ comedies. However, thanks to Mizrahi’s own directorial sensibilities, the end result ended up being an antithesis of sorts to the genre.
Shabtai Alfandri (Shaike Ophir) is a wealthy Jewish Sephardi citrus farmer who yearns for a son – a male heir who will carry the torch and family name when he’s long gone. Only his wife seems to produce nothing but daughters – a total of nine, in fact. In his despair, Alfandri seeks out the help of occultists to help him break ‘the curse’ that was “so clearly” put on him – but to no avail. Only in his dreams does he get to come within touching distance of his greatest wish – being surrounded by sons to call his own. Which is why when he marries off one of his daughters to his assistant – all he can do is pray.
The film made the official selection for that year’s Cannes Film Festival, whereas in Israel it was watched in cinemas by more than 300,000 people. That said, unlike Mizrahi’s other films, over the years Daughters, Daughters has been all but erased from public consciousness. Some argue that the reason for that may have to do with the film’s original theatrical release date – just a week before the Yom Kippur War broke out.

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