Alila



Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai (who speaks the credits over the opening footage) loosely adapts Yehoshua Knaz's novel Returning Lost Loves into a mosaic of about 40 scenes, each an extended take photographed by the masterful Renata Berta. This 2003 drama follows the messy lives of a few characters in a Tel Aviv apartment complex, and Gitai deserves credit for emphasizing the illegal immigrants, because the multiculturalism of the Middle East tends to be overlooked. More generally, the movie is notable for the authentic unpleasantness of its milieu; at one point an 18-year-old army deserter tells his father, “Fuck this country!,” which may be the closest we get to an epiphany. In Hebrew with subtitles. 123 min.

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