(Israel; 78 min.)
directed by: Shira Geffen, Etgar Keret
starring: Sarah Adler, Nikol Leidman, Gera Sandler, Noa Knoller, Ma-nenita De Latorre, Ilanit Ben Yaakov
Michael says: "JELLYFISH won the Golden Camera, and the Screenwriter's Award at Cannes earlier this year. Now it comes to Toronto, and in a couple of months, the Boston Jewish Film Festival co-presented by Chlotrudis! I didn't know what to expect from JELLYFISH, but the movie's synopsis sounded pretty interesting, so when Sara Rubin suggested it as one of our choices to co-present at the BJFF, I figured I would catch it in Toronto, and least be able to promote it properly. Imagine my surprise when it proved to be one of my favorite films of the festival!
The theme of JELLYFISH is disappointment. There are three central stories in JELLYFISH, involving three young women living in Israel. All three of these women have suffered severe disappointments, the first years ago during her childhood, another just a day ago at her wedding. Batya lives alone in a rundown apartment, working as a waitress for a wedding caterer and continuously being overlooked by her parents. Joy is a Filipino domestic who doesn't speak Hebrew and is trying to raise enough money to return to the Philippines to be with her young son. Keren is just married to Michael, but their honeymoon has been curtailed after she ends up in a cast at an embarrassing accident at their reception. The three women's stories intersect at various points of the film, and it isn't until the conclusion that the theme of the film unfolds.
Directors Geffen and Keret employ gentle magical reslism, most notably in the form of a mysterious little girl who appears from out of the sea to Batia and leads her without speaking to a path of realization. To tell anymore of the plot would surely take away from the enjoyment of watching things play out while enjoying the film. This is a delightful film, worthy of the accolades it has already achieved, and definitely worth the time of any Chlotrudis member to see it. 4 1/2 cats
"JELLYFISH screened at the Toronto International Film Festival"
Chris says: " Israeli import JELLYFISH won the Camera D'or at Cannes this year and will play the Boston Jewish Film Festival in November. It's another piece where we're introduced to numerous people and slowly come to know how they're all connected, but first time directors Shira Geffen and Etgar Keret tell their convoluted tale with intuitiveness and grace. The characters include a hapless wedding party waitress, a Filipino caregiver, a struggling actress (who appears in the most pretentious and possibly funniest production of HAMLET ever) and a five-year-old girl naked except for a red-striped inner tube around her waist. It's no small feat to throw them together and come up with something so poetic and charming.
JELLYFISH screened at the Toronto International Film Festival"