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REDEMPTION / GEULA (2018, IZR) – 7/10

“Geula” means redemption in Hebrew, but it is also the name of the seriously ill six-year-old daughter of the film’s main protagonist, the old rocker Menachem, who many years ago became one of those orthodox Jews. This is a man in his early forties who had a relatively popular pop-rock band with his friends in his youth, and just when they were on the threshold of popularity, Menachem decided to leave everything behind and devote himself to the study of Torah. He married a girl he “kidnapped” from a bandmate, but she suddenly passed away, and now he is a widower working in a store and his daughter is suffering from cancer.

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Treatment is expensive and Menachem will come up with the idea of ​​reuniting the old band. And that’s for gigs after weddings, and even though he lost contact with the other members, the idea of ​​performing together again will be tempting. However, some of them will have much bigger ambitions than just performing at weddings, and the reunion will have an impact on their private lives as well. All of them seem to return to their youth, and in Meanchem, the internal struggle and conflict between spiritual life, orthodox Judaism and life according to its strict and strict principles and the freedom offered by the life of a musician will further develop. A life that he apparently once decided to escape from and seek peace in some other way, but he himself is aware that this is actually what he likes to do, no matter how much you refused to admit it.

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“Redemption” was a likable, if at times moralizing, drama about a man who once again came to the point where he had to question his decisions and his way of life. At times, his stubbornness and incredible persistence to stick to those strange principles seem irritating and one wonders why this guy does what he does and why he persistently refuses all the help that is offered to him. It is obvious that Menachem largely blames himself for his daughter’s illness, and he seems to want to attribute all the misfortunes that have happened in his life to his sins from his youth, a dissolute life that did not conform to orthodox rules. Nevertheless, he will have to find some balance in the emotional drama that had a solid festival life until the end, while Moshe Folkenflick received the award for best actor in Karlovy Vary.

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