Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A Bridge Between Israel And Germany

Israel and Germany, now there are two words you can't use in a sentence without causing some tension. However, this hasn't stopped Eytan Fox, et al, from folding these two countries and cultures together to create an unexpected and amazing film, Walk On Water.




I can't remember who suggested this one to me through blog comments but thanks! Even though I loved Yossi & Jagger, Walk On Water is definitely my favorite Israeli film to date.



Eyal (Lior Ashkenazi) is a descendant of Holocaust survivors, a Mossad agent, lethally precise and emotionally detached. After removing a terrorist from Turkish soil he returns Israel to face a horrific personal loss. With not so much as a tear or lashing out in anger he stoically pushes forward to his next mission: to befriend the grandson of a Nazi war criminal solely to gain knowledge of his whereabouts and kill him.


Axel (Knut Berger) is the happy-go-lucky, gay German grandson of the Nazi war criminal who comes to Israel to visit his sister who is on kibbutz. Eyal poses as his tour-guide and driver to complete his mission.


What you fear most in life you will encounter over and over again until its confronted and resolved. Or so my grandmother used to tell me. This is precisely what unfolds as the Israeli and German forge a friendship and mutual understanding, eventually leading to the confrontation and dismantling of the demons from their respective pasts.

The climactic scene is chilling and brilliant as each man puts himself in the other's postion, literally adopting each others values and life perspective. I watched this scene three times over, the acting is stellar, powerful and it solidifies the underlying message of the film with scary clarity.



I enjoyed the film's locations in Israel, Germany and Turkey. I also enjoyed the blend of German, Hebrew, English and Arabic languages. But, what I loved most about the film, was the juxtapostion of tensions, there are many: Israeli-German, Israeli-Palestinian, gay-straight, a man against himself, grandson-grandfather, right-wrong, guilt-letting go, anger-release.

In each case a bridge between them, now matter how fragile, is built.

Beautiful.

12 Comments:

Blogger The Persian said...

Oh man do I want to see this now. Ebay here I come... :)

Thanks!!

9:28 PM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Enjoy Jim, I think you will like this one!

11:38 PM

 
Blogger The Great Cranky One said...

Jim,

Another great movie! i saw this film along with Yossi and Jagger. Both are fantastic.

The blending of languages is very cool in this film and you are right the acting is superb!

-Tim

10:50 AM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Hey Tim -- I think you were the person who recommended this to me. Thanks!

Oh, congrats again on completing the process!

12:06 PM

 
Blogger Sangroncito said...

I wouldn't mind mud wrestling with those guys at all!

7:43 PM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Ya Sangoncito, the Israeli is just the tiniest bit attractive, no? :)

9:07 PM

 
Blogger Derek said...

I'm hitting the video store this weekend, sounds good!

10:13 PM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Enjoy Derek!

8:33 AM

 
Blogger aceian said...

Yossi and Jagger made me to see this one.

It has Yossi and Jagger's detailed characters (portrayed by superb actors), believable and interesting story-line and Eytan Fox's subtle directing.

Excellent movie!

11:49 PM

 
Blogger Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

At the risk of sounding perverted, I'd watch it just for the mudbath scene. And as a linguistic buff, I love the language stuff, too.
gotta look this one up.

you've got the good stuff!

7:07 PM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Agreed Aceian, on all counts :)

7:20 AM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Daniel, there nothing perverted about watching a good-looking Israeli man in a white speedo and black mud. Is there? :)

7:21 AM

 

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