A Strange Course in Cannes
by Boyd van Hoeij
- An Israeli son tries to reconnect with his father in Raphaël Nadjari's A Strange Course of Events
After the Directors’ Fortnight selection of his Apartment #5C in 2002 and Tehilim [+see also:
film profile] in Competition in 2007, Israeli director Raphaël Nadjari is back in Cannes this year with A Strange Course of Events [+see also:
film profile], which also screens in the Directors’ Fortnight, though it’s father-son angle is more reminiscent of Tehilim.
A Strange Course of Events focuses on an adult son, Saul (Ori Pfepper), who works as a night-time receptionist at a hospital in Tel Aviv. It’s a far from ideal situation and when the divorced Saul’s loneliness becomes too much to handle, he decides to go and visit his father, Shimon (Moni Moshonov), who lives in Haifa with his new partner, Beti (Michaela Eshet).
Shimon and Saul haven’t spoken since the death of Saul’s mother several years earlier and the visit isn’t an immediate success, though Shimon is certainly happy to see his son.
In meandering fashion, A Strange Course of Events charts the slow and tentative reconciliation between these two characters, with the fact that Saul is literally a fish out of the water in Haifa used to underline how lost he feels in the new life of his father and Beti, whom he’d never met before.
Straightforwardly put together, the film relies on the excellent performances and uneasy rapport between especially Pfepper and Moshonov, though Eshet, as a woman who believes so strongly in the healing power of stones she has a shop where she sells them and consults on the matter, is an important third character who adds a lightness of touch that goes back and forth between slightly absurd and endearing.
The film was produced by French outfit Avenue B Productions in co-production with Vito Films (France), Transfix Film Production (Israel) and Laila Films (Israel). Paris-based MK2 handle international sales.
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