The Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema continues Friday, September 8, through Sunday, September 17, at Webster Place and at Renaissance Place in Highland Park. Tickets are $10, and a festival pass, good for six screenings, is $50. For more information call 312-423-6612; a full festival schedule is available at chicagofestivalofisraelicinema.com.
Dekel Adin gives a winning performance as the title character of Mimon (2005, 79 min.), Emil Ben Shimon's engaging TV movie about an adolescent boy drifting into juvenile delinquency. Torn between a gang of hoods and his hard-working single mother, Mimon faces a turning point, and his recalcitrance could have dire consequences. Ben Shimon accurately depicts the cadences of a tough, working-class Tel Aviv neighborhood. In Hebrew with subtitles. Sun 9/10, 2:30 PM, Webster Place.
Dov Gil-Har's documentary video Sleeping With the Enemy (2001, 23 min.) follows a group of 20 Israelis and Palestinians as they travel to Tokyo and spend ten days hashing out their differences at an annual event coordinated by Israeli, Palestinian, and Japanese interests. In Behind Enemy Lines (2004, 68 min.), Gil-Har revisits two of the participants, an Israeli police officer and a Palestinian journalist, who forged a better understanding of each other in Tokyo but whose present circumstances have eroded the progress made earlier. They agree to travel together for four days, visiting places that have special significance to each of them, though it's unclear whether they can rekindle their goodwill. In Hebrew and Arabic with subtitles. Mon 9/11, 5 PM, Webster Place.
In Haim Bouzaglo's warm, engaging Janem Janem (90 min.) a burned-out schoolteacher tells his wife that he's traveling to Paris but ends up in downtown Tel Aviv, working a construction job with a group of foreign workers. Bouzaglo's affection for this ragtag group of laborers is ably transmitted through the hero, who functions largely as a congenial witness to their colorful lives. Tue 9/12, 7 PM, Webster Place.
Yoav Shamir's keenly perceptive video documentary Five Days (90 min.) covers the events leading up to Israel's 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and chronicles the Israeli military's attempts to remove peaceably the inhabitants of several settlements. Tensions mount as soldiers and settlers jockey for position, though the narrator suggests that their actions are really a predictable game. In Hebrew with subtitles. Wed 9/13, 5 PM, Webster Place.