Review: ‘Dusk’

The ramifications of a car accident connect intertwining story strands in the ambitious but credulity-straining Israeli drama "Dusk."

The ramifications of a car accident connect intertwining story strands in the ambitious but credulity-straining Israeli drama “Dusk.” Debuting helmer-writer Alon Zingman seems to channel Paul Haggis’ “Crash,” albeit with plotlines exploring parent-child relationships rather than race relations. Overloaded with coincidences and contrivances, his script suddenly collapses into an open ending that feels as if he ran out of money and ideas. Pic nabbed the first-feature kudo at the Haifa fest, and further exposure on the Jewish-interest circuit is likely.

Unfolding over the course of a long day, the action cuts among an airport duty-free clerk (Reymonde Amsellem) tracking down her birth mother (Orly Zilbershatz); a sexy Argentine emigre (Natalia Faust) sweet-talking a troubled doctor (Gal Zaid) into circumcising her stoic 9-year-old son (Ian Zentner); the son’s unlikely hospital adventures with a cancer-stricken teen (Yaara Pelzig); and the welcome-home gone wrong for a twentysomething traveler (Rotem Zisman Cohen) when her father (Shmil Ben Ari) is involved in a hit-and-run. Zingman proves accomplished at cinematically exploiting narrative tension in gotcha moments, but less adept at modulating performances, which run the gamut from gripping to unconvincing. Tech credits are pro.

Dusk

Israel

Production

A Norma Prods. production with support from the Israel Film Fund. (International sales: Norma Prods., Tel Aviv.) Produced by Assaf Amir. Co-producer, Maria Feldman. Directed, written by Alon Zingman.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Roey Rot; editor, Etty Li-On Zingman; music, Jonathan Albalak; art director, Ron Zikno. Reviewed at Haifa Film Festival (competing), Sept. 27, 2010. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Reymonde Amsellem, Orly Zilbershatz, Shmil Ben Ari, Rotem Zisman Cohen, Natalia Faust, Gal Zaid, Ian Zentner, Yaara Pelzig, Michael Eshet, Rami Danon. (Hebrew, Spanish, English dialogue)

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