Menachem (Avni), the leader of an all-Orthodox Israeli army unit, falls in love with Michal, the daughter of a rabbi (Dayan). Feelings are mutual, but initially complicated because the rabbi fervently hopes that Pini (Alterman), an exceptional student (and Menachem's best friend), will marry Michal. When Menachem is abruptly arrested and charged with sedition, questions of love, loyalty, duty and free will are also called into question. Written and directed by Joseph Cedar, an American-born Israeli, this political thriller skilfully balances mainstream entertainment with something reflective and intimate, while also addressing themes of individual responsibility to a group, generational differences, and the sacrifices of a nation for whom conflict is habitual. Avni, Alterman and Dayan all do justice to the thoughtful script. But the oddly though aptly named Tinkerbell as Michal provides the magic with her combination of distinctive sensual beauty and a questioning disposition. Tune out the Eurovision-style music (the one misstep) and it'll have you hooked.
Cast and crew