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With: Assi Dayan, Ilan Griff, Sharon Hacohen
Written by: David Volach
Directed by: David Volach
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Language: Hebrew, with English subtitles
Running Time: 72
Date: 04/29/2007

My Father My Lord (2008)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Out of the Torah

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

David Volach wrote and directed this assured, amazing 72-minute debut Israeli film, in which every delicate shot counts for the greater emotional impact. Some of the shots are seemingly insignificant, such as a young boy playing with an empty tea cup or trying to watch a bird's nest outside his classroom window, and yet all these small moments resonate and vibrate throughout the film -- and long afterward. Ilan Griff stars as the charming, curious boy, Menahem, who adores his father, Rabbi Abraham Eidelmann (Assi Dayan). The boy clearly longs for any kind of attention and takes it in the form of lessons from the Torah. His pretty mother (Sharon Hacohen) understands his growing curiosity with the world, but also respects the Rabbi's position in the household. The Rabbi insists that the Torah not be questioned, even when it comes to such issues as whether or not dogs have souls. "Of course not!" his father answers. In no scene does this come more fruitfully, painfully to light as in the conclusion to the bird's nest saga. From there, the film moves to its real point as Menahem, his father and his pretty mother (Sharon Hacohen) head to the beach for a small holiday. Don't let the dreary title put you off; My Father My Lord is a film to be praised for its economy, potent images and seemingly effortless flow. (Only once did I wish for a bit more information, in a private bedroom exchange between the Rabbi and his wife...)

DVD Details: Kino released the film in theaters in the summer of 2008 and now on a rather modest DVD package, with a trailer and a stills gallery.

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