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The fateful contract between a secular Israeli army officer and a devout young Holocaust survivor has profound and unexpected consequences, in this sprawling, decades-spanning epic from director Yossi Madmony (Restoration).
A Place in Heaven, the newest film from
Yossi Madmony (whose Restoration
played the Festival in 2011), is a sprawling
epic spanning forty years, three wars, and
countless characters. The genesis of the
story is based on a particular, and peculiar,
tenet of Jewish religious law that allows for
the trade of a person's place in heaven.
In the nascent years of Israel, an outstanding
officer nicknamed Bambi (Alon
Aboutboul) returns from a mission.
He is met by a young army cook, a religious
Holocaust survivor who believes
there is a special place in heaven for those
willing to sacrifice their lives for others.
The cook offers the officer a month's
worth of tasty shakshuka, his favourite
meal, in exchange for his seat in
heaven — a trade the secular soldier is only
too happy to make.
Director Madmony's exploration of the
ensuing decades of the soon-to-be general's
life — his sacrifices in pursuit of the
woman he loves, his aching desire for a
son, his inability to mould that son into his
own image — shows us a personal history
inextricably entwined with the history of
a nation; in both, frailty, pride, and sheer
Madmony is fearless in tackling big
themes: parenthood, death, and the fear
that one's legacy is not exactly turning out
as hoped. In doing so, he provides us with
a gripping, densely layered tale of love,
betrayal, and faith, as told through the eyes
of a father and son locked within a devotion
to, and denial of, each other.
- Yossi Madmony
- Yossi Madmony was born in
Jerusalem. After completing his
studies at the Sam Spiegel Film and
Television School, he began working
in television, directing the series Bat
Yam – New York (95 – 97). His directorial
credits include the features The
Barbecue People (03), Restoration
(11), which screened at the Festival
and won Best Screenplay Award at
Sundance, and A Place in Heaven (13).