Joker

90 Minutes, 1976
Genre:
Feature
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Cast: Gaon Yehoram, Hillel Neeman, Idit Astruck
Production Company:Joker Films Ltd.
Photographer: Yaakov Eisenman
Language: Hebrew
| Subtitles not available

Director Isaac Zepel Yeshurun’s Joker is a valiant attempt at ‘Israelising’ a genre whose examples in Israeli film are indeed few and far between – the crime thriller or to be precise, the revenge film. At the heart of the plot is Joker (Yehoram Gaon), a criminal who has just got out of prison after having had his sentence cut short by two years. When the film’s protagonist returns to the mean streets of south Tel Aviv, he soon realises that the life he knew and remembered has changed beyond recognition: the woman he loves is now seeing a rival gangster, whilst his underworld peers are suspicious of his early release, worrying that he had sold them out to secure his parole. The long Bullitt-esque (Peter Yates, 1968) car chase sequence that starts at the airport is very much a strange bird in the landscape of Israeli film.

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