“God’s Neighbours” – A Cannes award winning Israeli Movie you should watch

Of prayers and beatings

Avi and his two best friends, Kobi and Yaniv, wear their kippas with pride. As devout Orthodox Jews of the Hassidic ‘Breslov’ they attend rabbinical classes and go to synagogue on Shabbat. But that’s not all; they take care that others do too.

Religious fanaticism combined with suburbia- induced boredom turns these three guys into guardians of the Torah. In Bat Yam, a city south of Tel Aviv, they ensure their neighborhood obeys god’s rules and is a religious place – in their own way….

In the very first scene, a bunch of teenagers party in the street on Shabbat night, when you are supposed to rest. Avi and his friends help to restore the sacred tranquility by taking their baseball bats and beating them up.

A deep insight into Israeli society and the Jewish Faith

Insightful and non-judgemental, director Meny Yaesh examines the many contradictory facets of Israeli society and the Jewish Faith.

The violent and thoughtful scenes of the film touch the main issues in contemporary Israeli society- In particular, the clashes between Jews and Arabs as well as religious and secular Israelis points out the imposing barricade which is build on religious fanaticism, history and social inequalities.

Inner conflicts

It also takes a deeper look on the inner contradictions and conflicts of those who have their life determinded by the rules of god.

Avi, played by Roy Assaf,  falls in love with a girl who isn’t religious; she doesn’t wear appropriate clothes and does not respect Shabbat. His feelings towards her leave him with remorsed and confused. Despite all the obstacles the relationship between the two deepens. Although not certain if on a religious or a secular way: They smoke joints together but don’t touch each other.

The many scenes pointing out contradictions sometimes end up bordering on the ridiculous; The ambivalence of the characters, for example Avi- who is violent- but totally likable at the same time, leaves you a bunch of new questions. God’s neighbours definitely is a movie that keeps you thinking about it for a while.

The movie has won the Gaul’s Society of Authors, Directors and Composers award in the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.

It will be screened at the

Hamburg film festival (6/10)

Finnish film festival (17.8)

Varsovie film festival (12.10)

and will be be commercialy released in France during 2013

So far I just found a trailer with french subtitles


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