PARK CITY — An Israeli film more about the internal state of its characters than the state of the country, Restorationis the kind of small-scale, well-crafted story that used to be a staple of European cinema and is rarely seen nowadays, at least in the U.S. It’s still a potent formula in the hands of fine actors and a director like Yossi Madmony who knows how to slowly build a story with small strokes and telling details. This kind of quality, if somewhat somber, picture could find some success at what remains of art houses and enjoy a solid afterlife in home viewing.
Veteran Israeli actor Sasson Gabay plays Fidelman, an old-fashioned wood restorer who is lost after his partner of 40 years passes away. With a perpetual two-day growth and a scowl on his face, Fidelman is as broken down as the shop he runs in an old section of Tel Aviv. Since the death of his wife and growing distance from his son Noah (Nevo Kimchi), Fidelman seems to have little connection to the world beyond the sawdust of workplace.
But this is not exactly a booming business and Noah is eager to turn the property into apartments, further alienating father and son. Even the pregnancy of Noah’s wife Hava (Sarah Adler) does little to lift the old man’s spirits. Against all odds, he is holding on to the life he has known for years, and something has to change.
When that change arrives it’s hardly noticeable. Fidelman hires Anton (Henry David) to help him clean up and do menial work around the shop. He’s a mysterious young man running away form his family’s wealth and his past as an accomplished musician. It’s never really explained what has set him on this path, but gradually he and Fidelman form a fragile bond, replacing the one missing with his son. Further complicating this triangle is an attraction between Anton and Sarah.
As Fidelman’s finances become more desperate, Anton discovers an antique Steinway piano in the store that could solve all their problems if it can be restored. But that requires a recast metal frame and delicate scrapping and staining, work that brings the old man and his helper closer together.
Madmony moves things along at a deliberate pace, calibrating the subtle emotional swing. At the center is Gabay’s reserved but powerful performance, building to the point where he will have to choose between his spiritual son and his biological son. He is able to suggest a world of hidden feelings by just shifting his gaze. And cinematographer Boaz Yehonatan’s old world lighting effectively adds to the dark, brooding tone.
Ultimately, the film is more about Fidelman’s restoration than the piano’s. The story feels so real that one can imagine it continuing after the film is over. Life goes on.
Venue: Sundance Film Festival, World Cinema Dramatic Competition
Production companies: Yezira Ivrit
Cast: Sasson Gabay, Henry David, Nevo Kimchi, Sarah Adler, Ruth Borenstein
Director: Yossi Madmony
Screenwriter: Erez Kav-El
Producer: Chaim Sharir
Director of photography: Boaz Yehonatan Yacov
Production designer: Yoav Sinai
Music: Avi Belleli
Costume designer: Keren Ron
Editor: Ayala Bengad
No rating, running time 106 minutes
Source: Hollywood report
Talk about kick-ass accessories! Women are learning how to escape from muggers and rapists using their high heels and designer purses — and even their mascara and lipstick!
“Women don’t realize it, but their accessories can be lethal weapons,” said James Sherman, who teaches women how to defend themselves by using their shoes or the common items in their purse.
It is a form of martial arts called Krav Maga, developed by Israeli defense forces.
It’s now taught to law enforcement agencies and armed forces around the world. The FBI uses it, as do a number of SWAT teams in the U.S.
Krav Maga is now gaining popularity in the U.S. after several Hollywood stars used it to train for film roles. It’s now being taught all across America.
Oscar winner Angelina Joliespent two hours a day, three to four times a week, learning Krav Maga for her role in her action thriller “Salt.”
Jennifer Lopez learned Krav Maga for the movie “Enough,” as did Jennifer Garner for the TV series “Alias.”
Hilary Swank, Matt Damon, Ashton Kutcher and Russell Brand have also learned it in preparation for movies.
“A lot of women don’t want to spend time learning self-defense like judo or jujutsu. But I figured if I could incorporate something that really interests them, like their accessories, then it might appeal to them,” said Sherman.
He teaches Krav Maga at the Complete Body and Spa in New York City.
Source: National Enquire
Four-month-long Walk About Love event to open more than 620 miles of hiking paths to trek entirety of country’s diverse landscape
The four-month-long Walk About Love Festival will open more than 620 miles of hiking paths to travelers to trek the entirety ofIsrael’s diverse landscape, from February 23 to June 4.
Over the course of 100 days, participants will hike through Israel’s diverse landscape of deserts, forests, rivers, lakes, beaches and mountains with the opportunity to meet local residents along the way.
The festival will start off with a two-day musical parade and opening reception at Migdalor Beach in Eilat, and guide travelers through the lunar-like landscape in Eilat to the Ramon Crater and through the Judean Desert to Jerusalem, beginning February 27.
The second leg will take hikers from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, and north along the Mediterranean coastline to the Sea of Galilee and Jordan Valley to the final destination at Mount Hermon. The festival will also include a three-week camped stay near the Dead Sea, one of the finalists in the New7Wonders of Nature competition.
“The Walk About Love festival is a spectacular event that will allow travelers to experience Israel’s magnificent landscape from a whole new point of view,” says Haim Gutin, Israel commissioner for Tourism, North and South America. “And will provide some extra excitement for travelers arriving in Israel throughout the spring.”
The festival will also includes overnight accommodations, with a jeep caravan transporting participants’ personal items to and from each base camp.
For more information, visit www.walkaboutlove.org.il
New joint Indo-Israeli project aims to help rural farmers transition into modern agriculture, boost trade between countries. India to finance program, while Israel to supply technology, equipment
INDIA – A new Indo-Israeli center of agricultural excellence was inaugurated Monday in Haryana state, north of the Indian capital of Delhi.
Some 3,000 farmers from Haryana attended the ceremony, along with Indian Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Haryana Governor Bhupinder Singh and Israel’s Ambassador to India Mark Sofer.
The center of agricultural excellence is designed to teach local farmers modern farming methods, including harvesting winter vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers, the use of greenhouses and advanced agricultural equipment, switching from rainwater irrigation to advanced systems irrigation and more.
The initiative is part of a series of agricultural projects across India, which were launched following an agricultural cooperation agreement signed between Israel and India in 2007.
According to the agreement, Israel will supply the knowledge and India will finance the projects that will help rural farmers make the transition into modern agriculture.
The phenomenon of suicide has become increasingly common among Indian farmers, who live in extremely dire conditions.
The project in Haryana aims to increase the quantity of crops, with the hopes that it would help farmers earn a decent living from relatively small plots of land, ranging between 10 and 20 dunams.
A total of six agricultural centers are slated to be built across the country, and the Indian government pledged to invest a minimum of $1 million in each, for a period of three years.
“Our primary goal is humanitarian,” said Agricultural Attaché at the Israeli Embassy in Delhi, Dr. Avri Bar Zur.
“There are diplomatic and economic interests as well, and a desire to strengthen the agricultural trade between the countries” he noted, but stressed that “first of all, our mission is to help Indian farmers out of their difficult situation.
“These are simple and hardworking people, and we want to help them make an honest living. We are acting out of genuine respect for what is already on the ground and the rural Indian culture,” he added.
In addition to financing the project, the Indian government also selects the farmers that will participate in the program and is responsible for sponsoring 80% of the cost of equipment the farmers purchase after they undergo the training.
“Naturally, much of this equipment – which includes greenhouses, hoses, and irrigation systems – is produced by Israeli companies that are represented in India in various ways,” noted Bar Zur.
The agricultural attaché estimated that the purchase of Israeli equipment by Indian farmers will reach tens of millions of dollars over the next few years.
Bar Zur noted that at the moment, living conditions in rural farms are not suitable for the permanent residence of Israeli instructors. Therefore, the teachers and instructors – all Israelis – will not reside in India, but will instead make short trips back and forth.
During the inauguration ceremony of the center, the Indian agricultural minister spoke of continuing the cooperation between the two countries in order to improve Indian agriculture.
“It should not be taken for granted,” noted Ben Zur, “India does not consider itself a third world country that is in need of aid, and has a deep sense of pride,” he added.
Head of the excellence center at the Indian Agriculture Ministry Dr. Arjun Saini described the smooth cooperation with the Israelis.
“I visited Israel four times and received the impression that (Israel) is more developed in a number of fields, especially in everything that has to do with the correct use of water.
“We are both English-speaking countries, so that communicating is easy. I find that Israelis become easily compatible to other peoples and cultures,” he added.