White Lies

An expatriate Israeli playwright (Sharon Alexander) leaves Paris to return to the port city of Haifa and care for his ailing mother. He often tells convenient lies, hiding his mother's true illness from her or embellishing her dying words to his callous sister, and much of this 1999 drama focuses on his inability to come to terms with his feelings regarding his career, his family relations, and his estranged lover. Alexander, a skilled actor and a veteran of Israeli film, communicates the weight of the son's filial duty through his anguished expressions and tense movements, and the touching chats between mother and son indicate a powerful sense of emotional obligation. But director Yitzhak Ruben never exposes the source of the character's moroseness, nor does the constant juxtaposing of his present emptiness with the breakup of his romance reveal much. 90 min.

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