Africa film review



Strand release
Reviewed for and, linked to Rotten Tomatoes by Harvey Karten
Director: Oren Gerner
Screenwriter: Oren Gerner
With: Meir Gerner, Maya Gerner, Oren Gerner, Joseph Quartzy
Screening on: Critics’ link, NYC, 03/26/22
Opening: April 29, 2022

Since the film only shows home-movie moments from Africa, the title may make you think that Oren Gerner’s film, a love letter to his father Meir, is about this continent. You could argue for Gerners calling his film “The Lion in Winter,” with the main character being a larger-than-life sixty-eight-year-old man in the waning years of his life. Although the film is shot in Israel, there are few indications of the location. Perhaps the Gerners, Meir and his wife Maya, live in a settler community, as locals patrol at night to guard against encroachments from those who think Jews have no place there. . The rats that Meir often complains about, and the handsome German shepherd Tsila who follows the family like their shadow, are a far cry from the rhinos (not fake Republicans) and elephants who make brief appearances in home movies.

If you want to know what the movie is about, follow a song by a resident choir who take community song festivals and dances seriously. Take the words from one of the songs: “Little things in life, joys of another day; this ordinary day full of grace. As we age, beyond the stages of adolescence and young couples raising families, we are likely, like Meir, to view each day as if it could be our last. For the Gerners, that doesn’t mean escaping like Americans to Hawaii and beyond as if travel were the highlights of life, but more likely a joyous day would find retirees like Meir working on their hobbies, just as Meir spends his day sawing his carpentry. shop – making beds for two of his family members rather than buying them from Ikea.

The documentary comes from the heart of Oren, with the writer-director barely showing up for a cameo but presenting in a winning way a full birthday – glad you’re here tribute to his sometimes moody father and Meir’s wife Maya . Maya is the community psychotherapist, which helps her deal with the occasional tantrums of Meir, who, in an alarming scene, finds him slapping a teenager at an outdoor party for playing music too loudly.

Many of us hear the word “Israel” and immediately think of that country’s problems with the Palestinians, but “although Hebrew is spoken everywhere, the subject matter, including all the songs of the community choir, is strictly secular. . Oren Gerner previously contributed to “Greenland,” a seventeen-minute look at the filmmaker who moves out of his parents’ apartment and moves in with his girlfriend. He would appear to be on the right track, if he so decided, to provide us with a series of Netflix episodes that would focus on “the small details of an ordinary day”.

In Hebrew with English subtitles.

81 minutes. © 2022 by Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online

History – B+
Interim -A-
Technical – B+
Overall – B+


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