Sweet Mud (2006)

Countries - France, Germany, Israel, Japan  |  
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A boy edging into his teens has to deal with his unstable mother and a commune full of eccentrics along with the typical dilemmas of growing up in this satirical comedy drama from Israel. In 1974, Dvir (Tomer Steinhof) is soon to turn 13 and lives with his mom Miri (Ronit Yudkevitch) at the Bet Gvurot Kibbutz, a progressive collective populated by people who take pride in their open-minded attitudes. However, they're not so easygoing when it comes to Miri; she's been sent to a mental hospital more than once, and her instability is more than most of the residents want to deal with, leaving Dvir to look after his mother with the help of his older brother Eyal (Pini Tabger). Miri persuades her Swiss boyfriend Stephan (Henri Garcin) to join her at the kibbutz, even though he isn't Jewish, but he isn't welcomed by the other residents, and an unpleasant incident involving a neighbor's dog turns the couple into outcasts. In the midst of all this, Dvir is trying to prepare for his bar mitzvah, which at the kibbutz is combined with a severe regimen of survival training; he also gets a crash course in his ongoing maturity when he develops a crush on Maya (Danielle Kitzis), a cute girl his age. Sweet Mud (aka Adama Meshuga'at) received its North American premiere at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival.