'Redemption': Jerusalem Review

By Ward, Sarah | Screen International, July 31, 2018 | Go to article overview

'Redemption': Jerusalem Review


Ward, Sarah, Screen International


A devout father is faced with a dilemma when trying to raise money for his daughter’s potentially life-saving treatment

Redemption

Dir/scr. Joseph Madmony, Boaz Yehonatan Yacov. Israel. 2018. 100mins.

With Redemption (Geula), co-directors Joseph Madmony and Boaz Yehonatan Yacov wade into a battle between religion and rock ‘n’ roll, though their quietly affecting drama eschews the simplicity of its basic premise. Centred on a widowed single father who is desperate to afford experimental treatment for his cancer-stricken six-year-old daughter, it’s an intimate, contemplative look at existential and everyday turmoil, as delicately and movingly anchored by Karlovy Vary best actor winner Moshe Folkenflik.

Thanks to Folkenflik’s performance, the many conflicts tearing at Menachem’s soul have the texture of truth, pain and confusion

Redemption also picked up the Ecumenical Jury prize in the Czech Republic - where co-director and writer Madmony won best feature back in 2011 with Restoration - and looks set to ride that early festival success to further international berths. After its competition slot at the Jerusalem Film Festival, this emotive, poignant but also probing film should appeal more broadly to the thoughtful art-house market. That co-helmer, -writer and cinematographer Yacov (Red Cow) bathes the film in soft, warm visuals that mirror the protagonist’s inner vulnerability should also help.

There’s definitely a glow in the air as Menachem (Folkenflik) walks down the street in Redemption’s first scene, en route to have his photo taken for the local matchmaker. Tellingly, however, there’s no sign of a smile on his face. …

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