Pick a Card | Chicago Reader

Pick a Card

This energetic 1997 comedy, the first dramatic feature of documentarian Julie Shles, swept the Israeli Academy Awards. Its leads are complex and richly nuanced: David (Zvika Hadar), a mechanic and would-be magician, has dragged his practical-minded girlfriend Batya (Esti Zackheim) from Afula to Tel Aviv, but his dreams of stardom collide with the failure of his first magic shows. Shles builds her story out of carefully presented details, humorously comparing the maintenance of an absurd family tradition to Jewish dietary laws and conveying the couple?s lack of privacy with Rear Window-like montages of the apartments in their crowded complex. But ultimately this life-affirming film may prove too warm and fuzzy for some tastes. Also known as Afula Express.

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