My Mom’s First Olympics

Humor, tenderness and a lot of filmmaking technique make "My Mom's First Olympics," the true story of a blind woman who becomes a world champion lawn bowler, a delightful, insightful documentary. Winner of the best documentary prize at the recent Haifa festival, pic avoids the schmaltz of most triumph-of-the-human-spirit tales while leaving viewers with a warm afterglow. It should get wide fest play and sell particularly well to world TV marts. Filmed and narrated by her son Ran, Tami Carmeli's story begins when she starts to lose her sight at age 40. Though she stoically tries to hide her problem, Ran first notices when, after a trip to India, his laundry comes out purple because his mother hasn't distinguished the colors of his poorly dyed clothes. As she gradually goes blind, her family urges her to use a cane; instead, Tami, a librarian, learns a new profession as a massage therapist, and how to play lawn bowling for the blind.

She is so good, she becomes Israeli champion and is sent to the Para-Olympics for the disabled in Atlanta. Half the film is dedicated to her trip and the match against her arch-rival, Deirdre, a South African champion coached by her ambitious husband. Returning home, Ran starts learning photography.

Young helmer Carmeli, who has already won docu prizes, is sure-footed in filming and editing (with fine cutters Noam Waisman and Yaron Yaakobi) a subject he obviously knows well. Pic is sensitive and succinct, and he brings out his mother’s courage, cold-blooded determination and even vanity, using secondary characters including his confused grandmother and the the feared Deirdre to subtle comic effect. Music choices are very much on target, particularly a version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” in the finale.

My Mom's First Olympics

Israeli

Production: A Shiba Communication (Tel Aviv) and Israeli Broadcasting Assn. production. (International sales: Films Transit Intl., Montreal.) Produced by Micha Shagrir. Directed, written by Ran Carmeli

Crew: Camera (color), Carmeli, Nurith Aviv, Dan Geva; editors, Noam Waisman, Yaron Yaakobi. Reviewed at Haifa Film Festival (competing), Oct. 18, 1997. Running time: 53 MIN.

More Film

  • Les Arcs Film Festival

    Les Arcs European Film Festival's Industry Village Kicks Off with Strong Roster

    She is so good, she becomes Israeli champion and is sent to the Para-Olympics for the disabled in Atlanta. Half the film is dedicated to her trip and the match against her arch-rival, Deirdre, a South African champion coached by her ambitious husband. Returning home, Ran starts learning photography. Young helmer Carmeli, who has already […]

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Box Office: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Rockets to $215 Million Opening Weekend

    She is so good, she becomes Israeli champion and is sent to the Para-Olympics for the disabled in Atlanta. Half the film is dedicated to her trip and the match against her arch-rival, Deirdre, a South African champion coached by her ambitious husband. Returning home, Ran starts learning photography. Young helmer Carmeli, who has already […]

  • Disney-Fox Deal Sets Up Scramble for

    Disney-Fox Deal Unleashes Flood of Free-Agent Executives, Talent

    She is so good, she becomes Israeli champion and is sent to the Para-Olympics for the disabled in Atlanta. Half the film is dedicated to her trip and the match against her arch-rival, Deirdre, a South African champion coached by her ambitious husband. Returning home, Ran starts learning photography. Young helmer Carmeli, who has already […]

  • Anita Hill

    Anita Hill Chairs Hollywood Anti-Sexual Harassment Commission Formed by Top Execs

    She is so good, she becomes Israeli champion and is sent to the Para-Olympics for the disabled in Atlanta. Half the film is dedicated to her trip and the match against her arch-rival, Deirdre, a South African champion coached by her ambitious husband. Returning home, Ran starts learning photography. Young helmer Carmeli, who has already […]

  • Warren Beatty

    Arnon Milchan Sues Warren Beatty Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    She is so good, she becomes Israeli champion and is sent to the Para-Olympics for the disabled in Atlanta. Half the film is dedicated to her trip and the match against her arch-rival, Deirdre, a South African champion coached by her ambitious husband. Returning home, Ran starts learning photography. Young helmer Carmeli, who has already […]

  • Oscar Isaac Addams Family

    Oscar Isaac in Talks to Voice Gomez Addams in Animated 'Addams Family' Movie

    She is so good, she becomes Israeli champion and is sent to the Para-Olympics for the disabled in Atlanta. Half the film is dedicated to her trip and the match against her arch-rival, Deirdre, a South African champion coached by her ambitious husband. Returning home, Ran starts learning photography. Young helmer Carmeli, who has already […]

  • Jennifer Lawrence

    Publicists for Jennifer Lawrence, Daisy Ridley, Amy Adams Form New Firm

    She is so good, she becomes Israeli champion and is sent to the Para-Olympics for the disabled in Atlanta. Half the film is dedicated to her trip and the match against her arch-rival, Deirdre, a South African champion coached by her ambitious husband. Returning home, Ran starts learning photography. Young helmer Carmeli, who has already […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content