Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Andrei Kashkar, Helena Yaralova, Yussef Abu Warda, Moni Moshonov, Juliano Merr, Menachem Lang, Veronica Nicole
Written by: Amos Gitai, Mordechai Goldhecht, Marie-Jose Sanselme, based on a novel by Haim Hazaz, and on a poem by Taufik Zayad
Directed by: Amos Gitai
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Hebrew with English subtitles
Running Time: 100
Date: 05/16/2002
IMDB

Kedma (2002)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Palestine of the Times

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Israel's celebrated filmmaker Amos Gitai returns after his triumphant 2001 masterpiece Kippur. Unfortunately, his new film Kedma does not possess nearly the same power.

It begins with a stunning opening shot: a couple tries and fails to make love in a crowded bunk bed and the camera draws slowly back, revealing them to be in a big, steel room with many other people. Further camera movements reveal the participants to be on a ship, and finally it's revealed that they're European immigrants on their way to Palestine in 1948, just before the State of Israel was established.

The immigrants arrive to meet bands of hostile British troops, but a secret Jewish army also arrives to help the immigrants to safety. The film disintegrates during these scenes, as Gitai -- whose Kippur was so explosively unpredictable -- falls into little routines of speechmaking, followed by controlled bursts of violence. The characters prove nothing more than patchy sketches and the drama simply evaporates.

DVD Details: Kino's DVD presents a nice widescreen transfer of the film with optional English subtitles, plus a stills gallery, a Gitai filmography with trailers for Kedma, Kippur and Kadosh, as well as a text history of the history of Palestine up to and including the "Kedma" incident.