Entries tagged with “Rozina Cambos”.


The Hebrew name of the film is a little longer than the one chosen by the distributors for the English version. It reads ‘The Mission of the Human Resources Manager’ and actually the word used is ‘shlihut’ which has a wider significance – it means not only mission, but also the acts of performing an important duty, or of being a messenger for important news. The news in this case are about a death, but the film touches only marginally the reasons and the absurdity of that death, and deals more about how the people who remained in life cope with the disappearance and how this impacts their lives – including the one of the messenger.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1311075/

 

Based on a novel of AB Yehoshua the film tells the story of the aftermath of a terror attack, one of these crazy suicidal acts that took place during the second intifada about a decade ago. One of the victims of the attack is identified quite lately as a Romanian woman working a manual job in a bakery in the town. A beautiful woman whose face we know only from a photo and later from a short film made on a phone, whose body nobody came to claim or identify because she was one of the thousand of foreign workers who come to Israel and perform hard and low paid works nobody else wants to do in order to support their families back home. The duty to take the coffin with the body home to Romania, and try to compensate the family there  falls on the manager of the human resources (the absurdity of the terminology is so well exposed by this film), a man who has problems of his own – solidly acted by Mark Ivanir, an actor I did not notice until now – he works more for the TV and games industry in the US, here he gets an opportunity to make a serious role in an Israeli film, and does it fine.  What results is a trip in unknown territory for the Jerusalemite clerk and the journalist accompanying him (Guri Alfi, better known here as a stand-up comedian), a clash not only of two different cultures and but also of different approaches to life and death.

 

(video source potentialfilm)

 

The film is not bad, but it’s a missed opportunity. Made in 2010, a year when both the Romanian and Israeli films industry were riding high on waves of success, it could have brought together some of the best in the two schools of cinematography – the Israeli dramatic school of political cinema which after decades of avoiding the tough questions raised by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict succeeded in a few film that take a sharp and uncompromising look at the issues and the Romanian minimalist realism which looks back to the Communist era and the transition that followed, and also to the contemporary chaotic situation in Romania not only with anger, but also with humor and especially with human understanding. Amazingly, director Eran Riklis‘ style and place in the Israeli cinema fits rather well the Romanian cinema style. The problem lies in the folklorist approach taken in dealing with the Romanian reality. If the Israeli team would have taken a local director as consultant, they could have maybe avoided some of the stereotypes of the script. I should say that the Romanian actors do their best to fill in the holes of the story on this respect, but this is not always enough. Even so, it’s a pleasure to see great actors like Irina Petrescu (a Romanian legend) or Gila Almagor who can be considered as her Israeli counterpart on the same cast (although they never meet on screen). And more than all, this is the last and final role in the career of Rozina Cambos. Despite its flaws Riklis’ film has enough good parts to make for an interesting viewing.

‘What’s in a name?’ asks Romeo in one of the best known monologues in Romeo and Juliet and in the whole history of theater. What’s in the title of a play that any viewer knows about since school, whose every story detail, scene and sometimes exact words are well know in advance? How can you make of such a play and a story a performance that is relevant to our times? The bet is being taken in the most daring manner by the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv. The bet is won. They trusted the performance to a 30 years old director – Noam Shmuel – at his first major stage performance in one of the best theaters in Israel. Shmuel reused the Cameri 3 hall in the same manner it was used for the performance with Hamlet (staring Itay Tiran) a few years ago. There is no stage in the sense we understand the structure in any theater hall. Spectators are sit in the middle of the room on chairs that rotate 360 degrees, and the performance happens around and in the middle of them. Multimedia screens like in sport bars broadcast from time to time flash news and anchor Yaron London tells the choir part in the style he does the evening news and political commentaries broadcast on TV. Romeo and Juliet are brought in contemporaneity and we spectators are part of the story, which happens at the same level and at breathing distance from us.

source http://www.cameri.co.il/index.php?page_id=1883

The beautiful thing in this performance at Cameri is that neither the dramatic structure nor the beauty of the Shakespearean verse got lost in the modern adaptation. The Hebrew translation of Eli Bijaui mixes modern Hebrew with the classical transcription of the language of the bard, and the ratio of the mix is the right one. We are simultaneously in the eternal Verona where the impossible and tragic love story is happening and inexorably ending for centuries but we also are in the 21st century Israel with the crime families wars dominating the news. The violence is the same, the absurd of the circumstances that prevent the lovers to reunite transcends time. One more plus is the selection of the actors. Nelly Tagar is a young, fresh and fragile Juliet, which immediately brings to mind the vision of Franco Zeffirelli who also understood and projected the power of the teenagers love story in his cinematographic version of 1968. Dan Shapira is a plausible Romeo counterpart to Tagar. The role that dominates the performance is however the Nurse, which is turned here in the key character of the story. The vision of the director in general can be called a feminist one, as the feminine characters (the nurse, Juliet, the mothers in the two families) all play central roles amplified relative to what we are accustomed in the classical performances, and even the modern ones where friar Lorenzo is the favorite maverick. Not so here, where Rozina Cambos‘s Nurse dominates the intrigue and the performance in what is maybe one of the memorable roles of her acting career, and maybe the best since she came to Israel. I am following her career for about 35 years so I may be suspected of some bias, but I believe that for many Israeli spectators who saw this stage version, it will remain in memory as the Nurse’s and Rozina’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’.