You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Black Box

Adapting to the screen "Black Box," the epistolary novel by Amos Oz, arguably Israel's most accomplished living writer, presents a major challenge that is only partially met by director Yeud Levanon.

With:
Ilana - Bruria Albek
Alex - Ami Traub
Sommo - Mati Seri
Zakheim - Amnon Meskin

Adapting to the screen “Black Box,” the epistolary novel by Amos Oz, arguably Israel’s most accomplished living writer, presents a major challenge that is only partially met by director Yeud Levanon. This tale of obsessive love and wrecked marriage, which unfolds against Israel’s complex political setting, should prove intriguing to viewers interested in the new Israeli cinema, but it holds limited commercial allure for other audiences.

Story’s heroine is Ilana (Bruria Albek), a beautiful woman divorced from her first husband, Alex (Ami Traub), for seven years, but still madly in love with him. Though remarried to the understanding Sommo (Mati Seri), with whom she has a young daughter, Ilana’s body, heart and soul yearn for Alex, an internationally famous scholar who lives in London. As a result of their painful divorce, their teenage son has become rebellious and keeps running away in an effort to be independent.

Using Ilana’s voiceover narration, tale is structured as a series of flashbacks interwoven with episodes from the present. Ilana’s recollections of her fervid marriage on a gorgeous Jerusalem estate (now deserted) are contrasted with her contempo routine life with Sommo. For personal and political reasons, both Alex’s manipulative lawyer (Amnon Meskin) and Sommo conspire to keep the lovers apart.

Chief problem is the almost unbridgeable chasm between the book’s subtle complexity of ideas and their onscreen translation. Regrettably, what survives of Oz’s lyrical novel is only the bare bones.

As the internally tortured, obsessively passionate woman, Albek gives a creditable, if not distinguished, performance, though pic calls for a major actress with a wider range of expressive behavior. Of the three men, only Meskin , as the sly lawyer, stands out, using his deep voice to give his lines sharp shadings.

Tech credits, particularly Avi Koren’s precise lensing, are adequate, but readers who got a terrific charge from Oz’s highly romantic book, which was immensely popular both in and outside Israel, will be disappointed by the more realistic and rather flat film version.

Black Box

Israeli

Production: A Look Films production. Produced by Gideon Kolirin. Directed by Yeud Levanon. Screenplay, Nomi Sharron, Levanon, based on the novel by Amos Oz.

Crew: Camera (color), Avi Koren; editor, Tali Halter; music, Adi Renart; production design, Ariel Roshko. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 13, 1994. Running time: 90 MIN.

With: Ilana - Bruria Albek
Alex - Ami Traub
Sommo - Mati Seri
Zakheim - Amnon Meskin

More Film

  • Los Angeles Animation Festival Will Honor

    Titmouse Founder Chris Prynoski to be Honored at Los Angeles Animation Festival (Exclusive)

    Adapting to the screen “Black Box,” the epistolary novel by Amos Oz, arguably Israel’s most accomplished living writer, presents a major challenge that is only partially met by director Yeud Levanon. This tale of obsessive love and wrecked marriage, which unfolds against Israel’s complex political setting, should prove intriguing to viewers interested in the new […]

  • Martin Scorsese, Sigourney Weaver to Appear

    Martin Scorsese, Sigourney Weaver, Giuseppe Tornatore Set for Rome Film Festival

    Adapting to the screen “Black Box,” the epistolary novel by Amos Oz, arguably Israel’s most accomplished living writer, presents a major challenge that is only partially met by director Yeud Levanon. This tale of obsessive love and wrecked marriage, which unfolds against Israel’s complex political setting, should prove intriguing to viewers interested in the new […]

  • Terence Stamp English actor Terence Stamp

    Terence Stamp, Gemma Arterton Join Netflix's 'Murder Mystery'

    Adapting to the screen “Black Box,” the epistolary novel by Amos Oz, arguably Israel’s most accomplished living writer, presents a major challenge that is only partially met by director Yeud Levanon. This tale of obsessive love and wrecked marriage, which unfolds against Israel’s complex political setting, should prove intriguing to viewers interested in the new […]

  • 'The Parting Glass' Review: An Honest,

    Film Review: 'The Parting Glass'

    Adapting to the screen “Black Box,” the epistolary novel by Amos Oz, arguably Israel’s most accomplished living writer, presents a major challenge that is only partially met by director Yeud Levanon. This tale of obsessive love and wrecked marriage, which unfolds against Israel’s complex political setting, should prove intriguing to viewers interested in the new […]

  • Owen (CHRIS PRATT) with a baby

    What 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom's' Success Means for the Franchise's Future

    Adapting to the screen “Black Box,” the epistolary novel by Amos Oz, arguably Israel’s most accomplished living writer, presents a major challenge that is only partially met by director Yeud Levanon. This tale of obsessive love and wrecked marriage, which unfolds against Israel’s complex political setting, should prove intriguing to viewers interested in the new […]

  • The World Before Your Feet

    Jesse Eisenberg-Produced Documentary 'The World Before Your Feet' Finds Distribution (EXCLUSIVE)

    Adapting to the screen “Black Box,” the epistolary novel by Amos Oz, arguably Israel’s most accomplished living writer, presents a major challenge that is only partially met by director Yeud Levanon. This tale of obsessive love and wrecked marriage, which unfolds against Israel’s complex political setting, should prove intriguing to viewers interested in the new […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content