July 20, 2012 | 9:17 am
Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
Because we are all a part of the human nature, even us, the perfect Israelis, have the tendency of self-criticizing. One of the most common topics where we have a problem with, well, ourselves, is Israeli movies. In the past decade, our film industry flourishes, as more and more Israelis and non-Israelis enjoy Israeli films. However, for a long time now we all have the same complaint: all Israeli films deal with either one of the big Israeli conflict: religion-secularity, the Holocaust, or Jews -Palestinians. But once in ten films or so, comes a true masterpiece which contains a plain Hollywood-like plot and performances. One of those masterpieces is: The Debt, which even received a Hollywood adaptation. But before The Debt, in 2004, there was Lelechet al Ha’Maim (Walk on Water), which makes many other Israeli films look like high-school productions.
It tells the story of Eyal, an agent for the Mossad, the Israeli security service. He is a hitman who targets enemies of Israel. His wife has recently committed suicide, and the agency decides that he needs to take on a less challenging assignment: to find an aging Nazi war criminal and get him “before God does”. He is a hard shell and is very stiff and old fashioned. On his way to “seal the deal”, Eyal meets the target’s granddaughter and gay grandson, and a Palestinian young man, which gradually help him fight his inner-daemons. To complete the deep, meaningful side of the movie, there is non-stop James Bond style action and some breathtaking shots of the most beautiful places in Israel.
Lalechet al Ha’Maim is, in a way, one of a kind: it combines many of the cliché’ Israeli conflicts, but also manages to be a grand blasting action movie with a very big budget. Oh, and I almost forgot the best part: it stars Lior Ashkenazi, who was, and still is, the most talented (and good looking) Israeli actor.
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