The Israeli Films You Don't Want to Miss in 2012

From broken families and single parents to unmarried women and Arab-owned candy stores, here are some of this year's most promising movies.

City Mouse
Oron Shamir
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City Mouse
Oron Shamir

"The Exchange" – As opposed to "Bikur Ha-Tizmoret" ("The Band's Visit"), it seems that director Eran Kolirin's second film is far less communicative and even more artistic. This is the story of an ordinary person, who returns to his home one day at an unknown time and begins to ponder his life, trying to fight against ennui and the same old boring routine. Rotem Kenan has already garnered much praise for his role in the film, which was previously screened at the Haifa Festival.

"The World is Funny" (working title) – Six years (and one book) after Aviva, My Love, Shemi Zarchin returns with a new film which also takes place in Tiberias. This is the story of a few characters from a writing workshop which takes place in a public library. Each of these characters has a unique plot line: a teenager who wakes up after years in a coma, a travel agent who discovers that she is pregnant despite the fact that she had not slept with anyone for years and a radio broadcaster who attempts to reestablish one of Israel's most famous comedy troupes in order to save his love from death.

Adir Miller, Uri Hezkiah and Avi Nesher on the set of Wonders.Credit: Emil Salman

"Off-white Lies" – Maya Kenig's silver screen debut. Gur Bentvich stars as the masculine, barely-functioning father of the protagonist – a teenager named Libby. She arrives for a visit in Israel after living most of her life in the United States with her mother, and finds her father who is living "between apartments." The story takes place during the Second Lebanon War, and the two decide to impersonate northerners looking for refuge in the home of a Jerusalem family.

"In the Fifth Heaven" – Dina Zvi-Riklis' newest film is a drama based on the story of Rachel Eitan. The story follows Maya, a girl who arrives at a care center for abandoned children in 1944 Palestine, where she must learn to integrate with the other orphans.

"Yossi" – Eitan Fox directs the sequel to "Yossi & Jagger." In the film, which was chosen to open the Tribeca Film Festival, stars Ehud Knoller, who returns ten years later to play the role of Yossi. Yossi, now a respected doctor who works in central Israel, meets Jagger’s mother and begins reevaluating his life.

A selection of films still in production:

"The Slut" – Hagar Ben Asher’s first feature was already given exposure in the Jerusalem Film Festival as well as the Cannes Film Festival. The artistic film, which puts a strong emphasis on mood, aesthetics and subtext, rather than plotline or drama which could be draw a larger crowd. The movie has several explicit sex scenes that begin as very innovative and eventually cross the line into full-on pornography. Ben Asher embodies a single-parent mother-of-two Moshavnik, who satisfies the local men. When a new man seeks to enter into a relationship with her, it causes an uproar on the Moshav, which immediately impacts the protagonists life.

"Single+" - Dover Kosashvili’s latest film focuses on Zehava, a 34 year old unmarried pre-school teacher, who is in no hurry to get married if it not out of love. The problem is that her mother is sick, and refuses to sick treatment until Zehava brings a child into the world.

"Candy" – Joseph Pitchhadze is currently filming his upcoming movie, which showcases the bloody struggle of a small Arab-owned candy story against a huge corporation.

"Wonders" – Avi Nesher directs the screenplay written by Israeli hip hop star Shaanan Street. The story is of a Jerusalem graffiti artist who happens upon a private investigator in the middle of a case.

"Filling the Void" – Rama Borstein’s first film takes place in the world of ultra-Orthodox women, where she torn between her husband-to-be and her tragedy-stricken family.

"The Inheritance" – Hayam Abbas’s directorial debut presents the story of a inheritance war of a Lebanese family over its patriarch’s fortune.

"Rock the Casbah" – Yariv Horovitz directs a war movie about an IDF unit sent as reinforcement during a violent protest in a Palestinian refugee camp.

Read this article in Hebrew

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