The Israel Film Fund Collection

Saint Clara

89 Minutes, 1995
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Directed by: Ari Folman, Ori SIvan
Cast: Halil Elohev, Lucy Dubinchik, Maya Maron, Igal Naor, Johnny Peterson, Menashe Noy
Production:Uri Sabag, Marek Rozenbaum, Guy Asaf
Production Company:TransFax Film Productions, Paralight Productions
Photographer: Valentin Belanogov
Original Music: Berry Sakharof
Languages: Hebrew, Russian
| Subtitles not available

Ari Folman (Waltz with Bashir) and Ori Sivan’s (In Treatment) film, based on the novel Saint Clara’s Ideas by Czech author, Pavel Kohout, is set in an Israeli industrial town in 1999, on the eve of the new millennium, with potential chaos looming large for the whole of mankind. A young girl named Clara comes into her superpowers that trigger a series of riots and strange events that affect both the town and her immediate surroundings – her wild friends and quirky teachers, her own family, and all the other town locals. With everyone running around her, trying to prophesy the future and find the truth, Clara faces having to choose between the boy she loves, Tickle, and her mysterious powers.
Saint Clara would go on to win six 1996 Ophir Awards for Best Editing, Original Score (by Israeli singer-songwriter, Berry Sakharof), Acting (Lucy Dubinchik and Igal Naor winning their Best Actress and Actor categories, respectively), Directing (Folman and Sivan), and of course, Best Film. The film also won the Best Film Award at the Haifa Film Festival; it was showcased at the Berlin Film Festival and also took home a special prize at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. Its innovativeness and unique language have made Saint Clara one of the most iconic ‘90s films in Israel, anchoring both Folman and Sivan’s status as leading, intriguing filmmakers whilst winning critics’ hearts, everywhere: “There is something about this film, and even if this ‘something’ defies explanation, there is nonetheless an air to it which makes it one of these films that really steals your heart and which, in its finest moments, manages to paint Israeli reality in the most unique shades, whilst leaving viewers tingling with equal measures of excitement and joy.” (Uri Klein, Haaretz.)

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