The Israeli film “Bethlehem,” which won the Ophir (the Israeli equivalent of the Oscar) for Best Picture, opens in the United States today. Here is the synopsis from the film’s distributor:
"Bethlehem tells the story of the complex relationship between an Israeli Secret Service officer and his teenage Palestinian informant. Shuttling back and forth between conflicting points of view, the film is a raw portrayal of characters torn apart by competing loyalties and impossible moral dilemmas, giving an unparalleled glimpse into the dark and fascinating world of human intelligence."
Rotten Tomatoes gives the movie a ripe red tomato, with a 72% rating among the critics (including The New York Times). In yesterday New York Daily News, Jordan Hoffman wrote that “By its conclusion, this fascinating film has informed its viewers more than a hundred political essays could.” I think that is correct.
This is an important film, raising significant issues that I have addressed in an article in the current issue of The Tower Magazine (“Ideology at the Oscars”) and a post at Commentary (“Cinematic Intifada”).