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Lewis Carroll meets Carol Reed in this dizzyingly funny and fantastical farce from Israeli director Avi Nesher, about a good-natured slacker who becomes embroiled in a labyrinthine conspiracy in the weird criminal-religious underbelly of Jerusalem.
Anything can happen in Jerusalem. Just
ask Ariel Navon (Ori Hizkiah), a bartender,
art-school dropout, and compulsive
cartoonist whose pleasantly mundane
existence is turned upside down late one
night after he spots a strange flash of blue
light emanating from an apparently vacant
building. His investigation yields an
encounter with a dazed man who looks
like Rasputin but turns out to be famed
modern-day prophet Rabbi Knafo (Yehuda
Levi). Is Knafo being held against his will?
And who would do such a thing?
Soon, a private investigator (Adir Miller)
and his mysterious and lovely redheaded
client (Yuval Scharf ) are roping Ariel into
planting hidden cameras in Knafo's hideaway
and allowing his apartment to be used
for surveillance. It's hard to know who to
trust. It's even harder for Ariel to suppress
his curiosity as he delves into the weird
criminal-religious labyrinth of Israel's dizzyingly
Veteran director Avi Nesher's latest is a
hoot. There are red herrings, unlikely alliances,
and cartoons that come to life when
no one is looking. Given its irreverent genre
mixing, The Wonders shows a kinship with
the films of the Coen brothers and Woody
Allen and the novels of Michael Chabon.
(Nesher himself describes The Wonders
as Lewis Carroll meets Carol Reed.) Both
Hizkiah and Miller are stand-up comics with
impeccable timing, and they fully commit
to creating complex, compelling characters
with much at stake.
A cautionary tale about gurus and an homage
to one of the world's most beautiful but
little-understood cities, The Wonders will
yank you down into its own cleverly conceived
Contemporary World Speakers
Ron Levi, Director of the Master of Global Affairs at the
Munk School, is an expert on global justice and human
rights regimes. He will speak about The Wonders in an
extended Q&A session following the screening.
Visit tiff.net/worldspeakers to find out more.
Special thanks to the University of Toronto's Munk
School of Global Affairs.
- Avi Nesher
- Avi Nesher studied international
relations at Columbia University. His
films include The Troupe (79), She
(82), Timebomb (91), Turn Left at the
End of the World (04); The Secrets
(07) and The Matchmaker (10), both
of which premiered at the Festival;
and The Wonders (13).
- Ron Levi
- Ron Levi, Director of the Master of Global Affairs at the Munk School, is an expert on global justice, and human rights regimes. He will speak about The Wonders in an extended Q&A session following the screening.