Chaim Topol Returns to Israeli Cinema After 26-year Absence

Topol to star in 'Son of God,' directed by Guy Nattiv and Erez Tadmor, telling the story of a journey to Greece by a 78-year-old man and his son in search of an aging magician.

Chaim Topol is returning to the Israeli cinema after a 26-year absence.

Topol, who last appeared on Israel's silver screen in the 1985 film "Roman Behemshechim" ("Affair in Segments" ), will star in a film directed by Guy Nattiv and Erez Tadmor, "Son of God." Filming for the feature, whose script was written by Nattiv, Tadmor, is scheduled to begin at the end of the year in Greece.

The plot revolves around a journey to Greece by a 78-year-old man (Topol ) and his son (played by Zohar Shtrauss ) to search for an aging magician who long ago saved the life of Topol's character. The journey leads the pair into a series of absurd encounters and strains the relationship between father and son.

The film's creators, Nattiv and Tadmor, have collaborated in the past: Their 2006 short film, "Offside," was an international success, and their 2007 full-length film, "Strangers," competed in the Sundance Festival. But in recent years, the two have worked on separate projects: Nattiv wrote and directed "Mabul" ("The Flood" ), which won the prize for best feature film at last year's Haifa International Film Festival, while Tadmor and Maymon collaborated on the comedy "A Matter of Size."

Topol, born in 1935, served in the Israel Defense Forces' Nahal singing troupe and was one of the founders of the Haifa Theater. But it was his role in the 1964 film "Sallah Shabati," written by Ephraim Kishon, that thrust him into the limelight, both in Israel and overseas: "Sallah Shabati" was the first Israeli film nominated for an Oscar (in the best foreign film category ).

In 1971, Topol played Tevye the milkman in "Fiddler on the Roof" - the role that clinched his status as an international film celebrity. His subsequent roles include Milos Columbo in the 1981 James Bond film "For Your Eyes Only."

Nattiv and Tadmor were not available for comment.