Ancient Culture in Modern Times

The Diversity of a Nation in Montreal’s Israel Film Festival

Melting Away playing Wednesday May 2, and Monday May 7 at 8:30 p.m.

The eighth edition of the Israel Film Festival brings diverse and critically acclaimed films to Montreal for a week-long engagement. The nine films have received international accolades–from the Oscars, to Cannes and the TIFF–and all of the Montreal screenings will be free for students.

Festival founder and director Eran Bester stated, “Israeli cinema continues to flourish with a wide variety of films on a vast array of topics. […] I have put my heart into the festival and, each year, seek out the best Israeli films and most interesting speakers to bring to Montreal.”

This year’s speaker is Guy Nattiv, the Tel Aviv-based director of The Flood. Nattiv will be presenting his film on Sunday, April 29, and Monday, April 30, and will host a Q & A discussion following the screening. The Flood’s coming-of-age story is told with original music provided by Montreal singer-songwriter Patrick Watson .

The film Melting Away was created in the wake of a deadly attack at a Tel Aviv LGBT Youth Center in 2009. A man entered the hangout called Cafe Noir and began shooting indiscriminately. Two youths died, and some of the parents of those injured refused to visit their children in the hospital.

The incident sparked the creation of Melting Away by director Doron Eran and his partner, screenwriter Bili Ben Moshe. The film follows a boy who is cast out of his family when he’s found to have women’s clothing in his room. Years later his mother hires a detective agency to find him because his father is dying. The boy who has now become a beautiful transgendered singer, visits his dying father under the guise of being a nurse sent by the insurance agency.

The lineup also includes My Lovely Sister, the story of two sisters divided when one marries an Arab man and the other casts her out of the family in self-righteous indignation. The outcast sister dies of a broken heart and her ghost comes to demand the attention she was denied in life.

My Australia, is a story set in the ‘60s and told through the eyes of a 10-year-old boy. The boy falls in with a group of neo-nazis in Poland only to then find out that his mother is a Holocaust survivor and they are leaving the country. He is then in for the ultimate culture-shock when the family ends up Israel.

The Montreal Israel Film Festival, April 29 – May 7 / AMC Forum (2313 Saint Catherine) and Guzzo Spheretech (3500 Côte Vertu) / Free for students (subject to availability prior to each screening), $14 regular

Tickets must be purchased in advance, online here or by calling 514-937-2332