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With: Moshe Ivgi, Hanna Maron, Juliano Mer, Dalit Kahan, Yussef Abu Warda, Nataly Atiya, Keren Mor
Written by: Amos Gitai, Jacky Cukier
Directed by: Amos Gitai
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Hebrew with English subtitles
Running Time: 105
Date: 09/02/1998
IMDB

Yom Yom (1998)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Day After Day

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I saw Yom Yom back in 1999 while covering that year's San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. My notes have mysteriously disappeared, but I did award the film a star rating, a meager 2-1/2 stars. Now that Kino has released the film on a new DVD, I decided to give it another shot. This time I was more familiar with Amos Gitai's work, having seen and admired several of his newer films. I barely remembered Yom Yom at all; certain scenes came back to me, but at the same time I couldn't decipher what it was I didn't like. This time I found it sharply engaging, even charming. Moshe Ivgi stars as Moshe, a half-Arab, half-Jewish Israeli. Pint-sized and sickly, he's perpetually unsatisfied. He pals around with an unlikely friend, a hairy, muscular manly-man, Jules (Juliano Merr). Moshe is unhappily married to Didi (Dalit Kahan) and sleeps with the sexy Grisha (Natali Atiya) on the side. Unbeknownst to Moshe, Jules is also sleeping with both women. Moshe sometimes visits his mother (Hanna Maron) and his Arab father (Yussef Abu Warda), who is in the middle of trying to sell his ancestral land. Throughout everything, Moshe's cousin (Keren Mor) sits passively by her traffic control monitor, blandly observing everything and making no attempt to change any of it. Gitai clearly intends his characters to represent some kind of commentary on modern-day Israel, but he also gets in plenty of his trademark long takes, using them for a kind of deadpan, black comedy. The performances are all superior, especially Ivgi who takes his pathetic little everyman and gives him a soul. Yom Yom is the middle part of a trilogy, Devarim (1995) being the first part and Kaddosh (1999) being the third. The title roughly translates to "Day After Day."

DVD Details: Kino's DVD leaves quite a bit to be desired. It has no extras whatsoever, and the English subtitles are non-optional, burned into the picture. However, the transfer is sharp and betrays only a few flaws.

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