- Amos Gitai’s ALILA intertwines the stories of over a dozen distinct characters who inhabit an apartment complex located in a rundown neighborhood of Tel Aviv. Holocaust survivor Schwartz (Yosef Carmon) has enjoyed a peaceful existence living in his small apartment with Linda (Lyn Shiao Zamir), a young Filipino who comes regularly to give him medication and company. But recently, Schwartz’s treasured silence has been replaced by a cacophony of bangs, loud sounds and aggressive voices. One of the many obtrusive men audible to Schwartz is Hezi (Amos Lavie). He recently rented one of the nearby apartments in the building for a secret rendezvous with a beautiful and self-deprecating woman named Gabi (Yael Abelcassis). Their intense, unequal and often-violent love affair turns Gabi’s life into a public and dissonant garble of psychological pain and physical pleasure. Also disrupting Schwartz’s rest is a group of illegal Chinese construction workers who expand one of the apartments into the courtyard, without the landlord’s permission. Divorcee Mali (Hanna Laslo) has her own problems as well. Their neighbors’ construction workers have been contracted by her ex-husband Ezra (Uri Klauzner), who is himself unwilling to give up his regular rapport with Mali and let her continue her life with a new young boyfriend. And to make matters worse, their son Eyal (Amit Mestechkin) is missing after having deserted his military service.
2003. Venice Film Festival: Nominated for Golden Lion
2003: Valladolid Film Festival: Nominated for Golden Spike
Original title: Alila
Running time: 120 min.
Director: Amos Gitai
Screenwriter: Amos Gitai, Marie-José Sanselme
Cinematography: Renato Berta
Cast: Yaël Abecassis, Uri Klauzner, Hanna Laslo, Ronit Elkabetz, Amos Lavie, Lupo Berkowitch, Liron Levo, Yosef Carmon
Producer: Co-production Israel-France; MP Productions, Agav Films