August 31, 2007

A wonderful place

I warmly recommend the Israeli movie "A wonderful place" by Eyal Halfon (איזה מקום נפלא, by איל חלפון).

It is similar in it's structure to Alejandro González Iñárritu's Babel, if you've heard about that movie: three seemingly independent stories turn out to be tied one to another. But as much as I hated Babel, I loved A wonderful place. And as much as Iñárritu used human suffering to carry political ideas and teach us compassion while being everything but compassionate, Eyal Halfon tells a story with humour and compassion without giving us any lessons. And note that A wonderful place appeared before Babel.

The stories: Young Russian women are smuggled through the Egyptian border into Israel to be exploited as prostitutes, their passports confiscated. The Thaï workers in a kibboutz of the Arava valley save every penny they earn but celebrating the King's birthday is a priority; meanwhile, their boss is having a miserable and lonely life. And an old man makes the lives of both his son and his male Filipino nurse miserable with his tantrums.

Among the inhumane situations that society generates, chance, kindness and compassion sometimes meet. The world is - sometimes - a wonderful place.

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