Not Quite Paradise | Chicago Reader

Not Quite Paradise

Young people of many nations come together to spend a summer as volunteer workers on an Israeli kibbutz, where they each find the ideal solution—self-confidence, maturity, love—to the artificial problems screenwriter Paul Kember has created for them. If you can find one cliche that doesn't appear in this film you deserve some sort of prize. Director Lewis Gilbert (Educating Rita) overlays the soggy action with a selection of truly hideous images—you haven't seen the zoom lens this abused since the early 70s, and yes, there are freeze frames. Joanna Pacula sports the best cheekbones in the Gaza Strip as an imperious kibbutznik whose rough exterior crumbles when faced with the down-home American charm of puppyish Sam Robards; with Selina Cadell, Kate Ingram, Todd Graff, Kevin McNally, and Bernard Strother.

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