Beyond the Mountains and Hills

92 Minutes, 2016
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Directed by: Eran Kolirin
Cast: Alon Pdut, Shiree Nadav-Naor, Mili Eshet, Noam Imber
Production:Eilon Ratzkovsky, Yochanan Kredo, Yossi Uzrad, Guy Jacoel, Lisa Shiloach-Uzrad
Photographer: Shay Goldman
Original Music: Asher Goldshmidt
Language: Hebrew
| Subtitles not available

Beyond the Mountains and Hills opens with a quoted verse from lauded Israeli poet, David Avidan’s poem, ‘Power of Attorney’, as of way of bringing viewers’ into the spirit of the film, and the overwhelming sensation of an existential crisis gripping the middle-class family at the heart of it.
What justifies above all else
the loneliness, the great despair
The bizarre shouldering of
the burden of this great loneliness
and this great despair,
is the simple, cutting fact,
that we simply have nowhere else to go.
After 27 years of military service in the IDF, David retires as Lieutenant Colonel and finds reintegrating into civilian life an uphill battle. Except David is by no means the only family member struggling with feelings of emptiness and confusion. In fact, each member of his family is in the throes of their own existential crisis. Rina, the family matriarch, and a high school teacher struggles with the monotonous boredom of her routine. She dreams of a life far more exciting and embarks on an illicit affair with one of her students. Eldest daughter Ifat is trying to find herself and her future beyond the spiritual mountains and hills, but also beyond the geographical ones surrounding her Jerusalem home, and begins a relationship with a young Palestinian man; then there’s Noam, the youngest introverted son. The characters all try to navigate their way through their respective journeys, seeking to unburden this despair – and more than once, in the course of this journey, will their checked violent urges come bursting to the surface.
The title of the film, hinting at whatever may lie beyond the mountains and hills, i.e., Israel’s closest neighbours, forms a tie between the familial-existential crisis and the national one.
The film was featured at the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard section, whereas at the Jerusalem Film Festival, Shiree Nadav-Naor who plays the family matriarch took home the award for Best Female Lead.

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