Ha'ayit (1981)

Run Time - 92 min.  |   Countries - Israel  |  
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In an embattled Israel, director and co-author Yaki Yosha (with Yoram Kaniuk), has come up with a successful pacifist film that is not political -- a most unusual accomplishment. The story is based on Kaniuk's book "The Last Jew," and its subject matter would apply to any war-ravaged area of the world, at any time in history. The ex-soldier Boaz (Shraga Harpaz) has just returned from battle, struggling with the guilt of a survivor remembering those who died -- morose and taciturn, he finds it difficult to adjust. One day he runs into an ex-teacher, the father of one of his buddies killed in the war, and the teacher supplicates him to do an "album" of his memories of the dead son. Boaz reluctantly complies, mainly out of consideration for the father's own emotional needs. He is rewarded by the grateful father, and when this simple act gets around, he finds himself doing more albums for people and miserably making money on the activity -- like a vulture feeding off the dead. The people he meets are real, grieving for their losses, and so Boaz finds himself put in an untenable position: he cannot say no, but saying yes has made life that much harder for him.

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Keywords

grief, guilt, homecoming, pacifism, survivor, war-atrocities