For My Children

Michal Aviad's latest is a diaristic meditation on a moment of personal anxiety when she and her liberal Jewish family have strong doubts about whether their move back to Tel Aviv from San Francisco was a good idea. Collage-style yet emotionally immediate work finds nondidactic ways to address complex issues. Further fest play is signaled, as are tube/educational sales.

Vet Israeli documentarian Michal Aviad’s latest is a diaristic meditation on a moment of personal anxiety and ambivalence — the violent start of the “2nd Intifada” in October 2000, when she and her liberal Jewish family have strong doubts about whether their move back to Tel Aviv from San Francisco was a good idea. Collage-style yet emotionally immediate work finds nondidactic ways to address complex issues of national loyalty vs. cultural identity — as well as raising children in a virtual war zone. Further fest play is signaled, as are tube/educational sales.

Home movies going back to 1939, interspersed with archival news footage, limn clan’s tangled geographical roots: One grandmother is an Italian Jewess who escaped the Holocaust; another an NYC Catholic/socialist who converted to Judaism and moved to Israel to protest Nazism; a grandfather left Europe to help found Israel. After spending happy decade-plus living abroad, filmmaker returned home so her children could be close to their grandparents. But now her son is near draft age, the situation with Palestinians has worsened, and Michal wonders whether they should all “move out of this place where (our) lives are in constant danger.”

For My Children

Israel

Production: A Women Make Movies release of a Michal Aviad Prods. and ZDF production in association with ARTE. Produced, directed by Michal Aviad.

Crew: Camera (color, video), Meir Wigoder, David Gurfinkel, Eytan Harris, Shimson Wigoder, Aviad; editor, Dani Itshaki; music, Jonathan Bar Giora. Reviewed at San Francisco Film Festival, April 27, 2003. Running time: 65 MIN.

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