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A Story That Has Come to Life

Cinema Sabaya


Genre: Drama
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 31m
Director(s): Orit Fouks Rotem
Writer(s): Orit Fouks Rotem
Cast: Dana Ivgy, Joanna Said, Amal Murkus, Ruth Landau, Yulia Tagil, Marlene Bajali, Aseel Farhat, Orit Samuel, Liora Levi, Khawlah Hag Debsy
Language: Hebrew, Arabic w/English subtitles
Where To Watch: will open in New York on February 10 at the Quad Cinema and in Los Angeles on February 24 at the Laemmle Royal, with national expansion to follow.

RAVING REVIEW: Orit Fouks Rotem's directorial debut is a testament to cinema's transformative power. It follows a group of women from diverse backgrounds as they come together for a videography workshop at a community center in a small town. The film masterfully delves into their complexities and explores motherhood, financial independence, and self-discovery themes. The film was reminiscent of last year's Oscar-nominated documentary WRITING WITH FIRE, not entirely because of the subject but more because of the thrill of learning and adventure throughout the film.

This film was born from Rotem's experience and the inspiration she drew from her mother's participation in a photography course that brought together Arab and Jewish women. Rotem's firsthand knowledge of similar programs in cities like Acre and Givat Haviva is evident in the film's portrayal of these women's lives.

Casting was a crucial aspect of the film, and Rotem chose women whose personal stories aligned with the central themes. The use of non-professional actresses only adds to the film's emotional impact, making it a raw and intimate look at women's lives. Again, making the film feel like a documentary at times.

Its demonstration of the art of cinema's ability to bring people together is a triumph and a must-see for any film lover. Israel submitted it as their official entry for the 95th Academy Awards.

The film shines a light on Rotem's exceptional talent as a filmmaker and showcases cinema's power to challenge societal norms and break down barriers. It is a film that will leave a lasting impact and inspire and engage audiences for years to come. Whether you are a seasoned film buff or a newcomer to the cinema, this film is a must-watch.

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[photo courtesy of KINO LORBER]

Chris Jones
Entertainment Editor

Chris Jones is the Mail Entertainment Editor covering Movies and Television topics. He is from Washington, Illinois, and is the owner, writer, and editor of Overly Honest Reviews.