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Under Water

Interesting premise of a secular Israeli teenager at last reuniting with her now-Orthodox father gets desultory treatment in writer-helmer Eitan Londner's "Under Water." Formulaic handling of adolescent crisis and vid-shot pic's somewhat washed-out look will both play better on the small screen, where it was likely targeted.

Interesting premise of a secular Israeli teenager at last reuniting with her now-Orthodox father gets desultory treatment in writer-helmer Eitan Londner’s “Under Water.” Formulaic handling of adolescent crisis and vid-shot pic’s somewhat washed-out look will both play better on the small screen, where it was likely targeted.

Fourteen-year-old Michal (Agam Rudberg) doesn’t remember father Yonathan (Dan Toren) — he left her and mother Anat (Hyla Alpert) a decade ago, unable to fit them into an emerging religious calling that eventually led toward a second marriage and three new offspring, all boys. This latter family is scorned when they dare show up at the funeral for Yonathan’s estranged father. At once resentful and irresistibly intrigued, Michal spies on a dad’s downscale current home. Discovered, she’s welcomed in as the boys’ “new sister,” though her total lack of experience in religious observance proves awkward. Also having a tough time with school activities, a besotted b.f. (Ofer Seker), and her Tarot-reading mom’s bachelorette lifestyle, Michal combusts in an overblown finale. Good-to-fair perfs, contrived script and blah tech presentation add up to OK but routine youth drama.

Under Water

Israel

  • Production: A Tamuz Prods. presentation in association with Israel Cable Programming Ltd. Produced by Yifat Prefteknik. Executive producer, Ronit Reichman. Co-producer, Shula Spiegel. Directed, written by Eitan Londner, from a story by Hagai Tevet.
  • Crew: Camera (color, video-to-35mm), Yaron Sherf; editor, Ido Mochrik; music, Assaf Amdursky; production designer, Avi Fahima. Reviewed at San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, July 31, 2003. In Hebrew with English subtitles. Running time: 92 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Agam Rudberg, Dan Toren, Hyla Alpert, Ofer Seker, Nurit Banai-Come, Genny Flaysher.