Antenna: How Israeli politics and history affect private lives
by Vladan Petkovic
- Israel’s Arik Rotstein has brought his first feature film, an engaging family drama sprinkled with humour, to the Warsaw Film Festival
Experienced Israeli TV writer and director Arik Rotstein has brought Antenna, his first feature film, to world-premiere in the International Competition of the 32nd Warsaw Film Festival.
While Rotstein's TV background shows in his directing approach, he has crafted an engaging family drama sprinkled with humour that paints a picture of the Jewish mentality with both love and reproach. On another, deeper and darker, level, it reflects the political situation in Israel, and how its people carry the burden of history into their private lives. This is not an obvious PTSD situation, but the effects are unmistakeably present.
The middle-class family consists of 80-year-old Holocaust survivor Yehoshua (Alexander Peleg), his wife Sara (Gila Almagor), and their three sons: army officer Itzik (Mikki Leon), who is never home, driving his wife crazy as she has to handle two sons and a daughter on her own; depressed and divorced literature professor Leon (Ishai Golan), who falls for a student; and DJ/small time weed dealer Efi (Michal Aloni), whose German girlfriend is pregnant.
Of course, they are all protecting their father from any potentially upsetting information, but Yehoshua's biggest problem is right on hid roof. The flat he owns with Sara shares its roof with a neighbour who has rented it to a mobile phone company, and the old man claims that the radiation from the antenna is causing him pain in his legs and won't let him sleep. So the whole family pitch in with opinions and advice that only serve to annoy Yehoshua, and, as no one seems to have the time or desire to actually do something about the antenna, he stages a protest outside the dwelling, with banners saying "Danger! Radiation!" and other, less polite, messages.
The film is traditionally crafted, with more-than-decent contributions in all departments. Rotstein's script is a classical three-act structure, with a precise emotional arc, and the acting is up to the task, with Peleg and Leon standing out.
Antenna was produced by Transfax Films Productions. International rights are available.