mon 06/07/2020

Israel

The Day After I'm Gone review - a subtle portrayal of a grieving father and his teenage daughter

Yoram (Menashe Noy), a vet in a Tel Aviv safari park, knows how to treat a sick jaguar (startling to see such a magnificent beast in an oxygen mask) but he has no idea how to comfort his troubled 17-year-old daughter Roni (a powerful Zohar Meidan)....

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Book extract: Minor Detail by Adania Shibli - III of III

At the end of an exhausting day's driving punctuated by disappointments and false leads, the narrator finds herself back at the Israeli town of Nirim where she spends the night. Slipping off early in the morning, she first fills her eyes with the...

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Book extract: Minor Detail by Adania Shibli - II of III

The second half of Minor Detail is narrated in the first person by a young Palestinian woman who reads an article about the rape and murder of the captured girl. When she finds out the crime took place exactly 25 years before her birth, she...

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Book extract: Minor Detail by Adania Shibli

The first half of Minor Detail is set in an Israeli military camp in the Negev desert in August 1949, during the conflict celebrated as the War of Independence in Israel and a year after the mass expulsion mourned as the Nakba in Arabic in which...

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Christos Tsiolkas: Damascus review - the author of The Slap goes biblical

To Christos Tsiolkas fans expecting something in the vein of his riveting bestsellers The Slap and Barracuda, the sixth novel by this Australian writer may come as a shock. We're not in Melbourne any more. Damascus is a serious historical enterprise...

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DVD: The Cakemaker

The Cakemaker is Ofir Raul Graizer’s debut feature, and the film must somehow reflect the parabola of the Israeli-born director's life: it’s set between Berlin and Jerusalem, the two cities apparently closest to him, and one of its main...

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CD: El Khat - Saadia Jefferson

Israel isn’t generally kind to the Jews who have come from somewhere other than eastern Europe and Russia. Music has provided one of the avenues through which this despised and often culturally Arab minority has been able to make itself recognised....

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Foxtrot review – controversial movie dances to an ugly tune

Israeli filmmaker Samuel Maoz’s Foxtrot uses irony and visual poetry to condemn his nation’s militarism. Twenty months after the movie won the Grand Jury Prize at Venice, it opens in the UK trailing a divisive history. When it first emerged in 2017...

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The Little Drummer Girl, BBC One, series finale review - Le Carré drama comes to the boil at last

Was The Little Drummer Girl commissioned by algorithm? Those who liked The Night Manager might reasonably have been supposed to enjoy another le Carré adaptation. The two dramas had DNA in common. Both steered away from the Cold War, and told of a...

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The Little Drummer Girl, BBC One, review - latest Le Carré just passes audition

When after six novels John Le Carré turned away from the Cold War, he turned towards another simmering post-war conflict, between Israel and Islam. The Little Drummer Girl was published in 1983, and filmed a year later with Diane Keaton and Klaus...

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Turner Prize 2018, Tate Britain review - a shortlist dominated by political issues

I’ve just spent four hours in the Turner Prize exhibition at Tate Britain. The shortlisted artists all show films or videos, which means that you either stay for the duration or make the decision to walk away, which feels disrespectful. For unlike...

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Yuval Noah Harari: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century review - a sceptic's optimism?

The bestseller Sapiens (2011, first published in English in 2014) by the hitherto little-known Israeli academic Yuval Noah Harari has sold enormously well, and justly so: recommended by Bill Gates no less, it has become a worldwide publishing...

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