Me’ever Laharim Vehagvoat (Beyond the Mountains and Hills)Cannes Film Festival 2016
Something goes terribly wrong in Me’ever Laharim Vehagvoat by Israeli director Eran Kilirin. Selected for Un Certain Regard, the film is unfortunately quite weak and inconsistent, with one too many holes in the plot. The family-centred narrative branches into the individual experiences of its members, but often taking bizarre twists that seem not to make much sense, however generous one may be with a director’s creative freedom.
Story of a family of four and their improbably complicated lives in Israel, Me’ever Laharim Vehagvoat adresses universal problems (extra-marital affairs, teenage crushes, career changes) as well as location-specific issues regarding the Israeli-Palestinian tensions.
The mother, father and daughter seem to be adept at making bad decisions while, inexplicably, the son is granted no narrative space at all, intervening only as a subsidiary of one of the other members’ story line. The lack of consequences of some events is puzzling, while the cause-effect chain is strangely accelerated at many points, hastily jumping to conclusions without much credibility.
A promisingly intriguing topic starts to be drawn out at the beginning of the film, as teenage daughter Yifat attends protests and insists on wearing a keffiyeh (the Palestinian scarf, symbol of the struggle). However, it is quickly clear that the topic of the Israeli youth’s new awareness regarding the region’s instability barely gets a mention. Failing to fully address the political issues it brings up, the film takes sudden turns, dismissing plot lines that had just been picked up, and the result is, sadly, very incoherent.
Ending on a curious defensive note, Me’ever Laharim Vehagvoat‘s Eran Kilirin seems to have a very ambitious and complex story in mind, but delivers it quickly, approximatively, and in a unconvincing manner.
Me’ever Laharim Vehagvoat does not have a UK release date yet.
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Watch a clip from Me’ever Laharim Vehagvoat here: