Free Zone | Chicago Reader

Free Zone

This Israeli feature by Amos Gitai opens with a grandstanding ten-minute close-up of Natalie Portman weeping. Her character, a young New Yorker visiting Tel Aviv, has just broken up with her Israeli boyfriend after hearing of his loathsome actions in a Palestinian refugee camp, and on a whim she accompanies a tough-minded Israeli cabdriver (Hanna Laslo) who's going to Jordan to collect some money owed her disabled husband. Gitai uses fluidly superimposed shots to fill in the story as they make their journey, but the exposition consistently overshadows the action, and despite a provocative climax, the movie settles into a ponderous collection of soliloquies. In English and subtitled Hebrew. 90 min.

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