Love, Israeli Style

Eytan Fox is the hottest director in Israel. Until quite recently, that would've been the quintessential example of damning with faint praise. But the tiny country's film industry is enjoying an incredible year, with prizes from all the right festivals: Sundance (Sweet Mud, which recently opened the S.F. Jewish Film Festival), Berlin (Beaufort), Tribeca (My Father My Lord), and Cannes (The Band's Visit and Jellyfish). Fox has also done swell for himself internationally, with his last two pictures, Yossi & Jagger and Walk On Water, receiving acclaim and worldwide distribution. His latest tale of searching twentysomethings blindsided by seduction and transformation, The Bubble, is an enticing mix of gay and straight coupling, awakening conscience, and punchy pop songs set in a Soho-like neighborhood of Tel Aviv. A record-store employee, Noam, depressed from his latest stint of reserve duty at a checkpoint, hooks up with a Palestinian guy. His smart-mouthed roommates, a gay cafe manager and a straight shopgirl, provide a steady torrent of commentary, comedy, and support. As usual, the openly gay Fox eases his likable characters out of their comfort zones and into foreign territory, pushing them across physical and psychological boundaries, in the idealistic hope of dissolving borders that they (and we) have created.
Sept. 7-15

 
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