A Tale of Love and Darkness

IMDb Rating 6 10 3


Downloaded times
August 12, 2020


Makram Khoury as Colonel Hazem Ashraf
Natalie Portman as Jack's Girlfriend
Shira Haas as Alma
Tomer Capon as Israeli soldier
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
903.18 MB
Hebrew 2.0
23.976 fps
95 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.81 GB
Hebrew 2.0
23.976 fps
95 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by hadarbechor 9 / 10 / 10

True to Oz

I had read the book when it was first published, and I felt it was a masterpiece. Oz captured the dark and difficult yet hopeful period of Jewish and Israeli history so well - from the siege on Jerusalem, to relations with Palestenians, to the impact of uprooted Eastern European Jewish survivors' lives. He also let us into the secrets of his childhood. It is a profound book. Of course to turn this long and complex tale into a movie is very challenging, and especially as a directorial debut. However, I felt that Natalie Portman and her team captured the essence of the book. The period scenes, the choice of important segments of the book, the characters - it felt familiar to me, true to the book. I'm sorry to read in a couple reviews that the historical references did not register. I personally feel that she did justice to the period, the place and the story. Yes, it was dark for the most part. Because Amos Oz remembered his childhood as dark, because of the times, the atmosphere in the home (his parents were mismatched), the poverty and the fear. And mostly because of his mother's falling into illness. In the book Oz never mentioned a diagnosis, but it was clear, and made clear in the movie as well, that she was clinically depressed, and no treatment was available. One of the parts I liked the best in the movie, was the sporadic appearance of the "new Jew" prototype, which she adored, and which her husband did not fit in the least. The handsome, strong man, the antithesis of the Eastern European Jewish nerdy and scholarly type. What she did with this mythic male at the end of the movie was brilliant, and the narrator also tells us that he himself tried to become this man, and couldn't. Maybe the viewers need to read some background before watching the film, but I felt justice was done to the book and to the spirit of it. Those who dismiss the linguistic aspects need to realize that the new and forming language, Hebrew, and the father and son's interests in life, are tied together, and represent a very important part of the story. That is probably why Natalie Portman insisted on the movie being in Hebrew. Will she adapt it into an English version? Maybe.

Reviewed by dromasca 4 / 10 / 10

A 'Tale' That Cannot Raise Above the Words

When it comes to films inspired by books I find the discussions about whether the book was 'better' (or not) than the film futile. I also do not consider films being 'true' to the books that inspired them as being a necessary virtue for this category. Literature and cinema are very different forms of art. They create emotions and they trigger thoughts each in very different manners. Even if the words in a play by Shakespeare or in a novel by Tolstoy are the same as in the film inspired by these, emotion comes from a different place for readers, theater audiences and movie audiences. It is somehow easier for me to avoid this kind of discussion in the case of the very ambitious project that was undertaken by already famous actress Natalie Portman for her debut as a film director, as I did not read (yet) the memoirs of Amos Oz that bear the same name - 'A Take of Love and Darkness'. From what I get from critics and friends who have read the book, Portman selected out of the very rich and complex memoirs that cover the first fifteen years of the life of Jerusalem-born Amos Oz one specific thread with a personal touch about the relation between the young boy and his mother, and focused the film on it. This may have been a fine choice, as the change of perspective and the decryption of the character of the young woman who came to Mandatory Palestine from Europe before the breaking of the war, her cultural shock, the building of the relationship with her son, the facing of historical developments and family crisis ending in the suicide that marked the biography of the writer - all these make of some fascinating material. And yet, the film never takes off. It may have been the deep respect for the text which let director Portman believe that she must be true not only to the spirit but also to the letter of the book. Maybe a more mature director, maybe Portman herself ten or twenty years from now if she continues on the directing path, would have had courage to build a more independent story with the risk of competing with the words of the writer. She did not do it, unfortunately. The result is a very literary film, and this is not, unfortunately, a compliment here. There are a few beautiful things in this film. Cinematography by Slawomir Idziak is exquisite - with the metaphors of dreams, of the Old Country, of the darkening skies of Europe covered by the birds of prey. Portman's acting is also sensible and touching at the key moments. The labyrinth of Jerusalem's narrow streets has both charm and also enhances the sensation of claustrophobia and pressure. Two many other aspects are however missed by: the roots of the psychological and physiologic decay of the mother, the build-up of tension between father and son that leads to the decision of the boy to change the course of his life. I am afraid that the non-Israeli audiences, or audiences not familiar with the history of Mandatory Palestine and the making of Israel will have a hard time understanding the details and the atmosphere, and there is not enough consistency in the characters (not to speak about action) to make them interested in the drama. I usually dislike using off-screen voice in movies. The words spoken off-screen are the most beautiful part of this film, and this is no wonder, as most of them are quotes from the book of the great writer who is Amos Oz. Their role in the film is to explain what the director could not translate in images. This is a problem.

Reviewed by segacs 4 / 10 / 10

A collection of beautiful parts that don't quite add up to a whole

I wanted to like this. I really did. Natalie Portman's directorial debut taking on an epic Amos Oz novel about his early life set against the tale of the birth of the State of Israel should have been wonderful. Instead, it felt like a series of beautiful cinematic vignettes that didn't quite come together to form a cohesive narrative. The dramatic tension is missing. The motivations of Oz and his mother and father are not explained. A couple of political scenes inserted to give some context -- namely the scene with the Arab girl and her brother, and the scene where the UN vote is being read out -- feel clunky and not well linked to the more personal story being told. If I hadn't come into the movie already having a good grasp of the history of mandatory Palestine and Israel's early years, I feel I would have been totally lost, as so much was glossed over or not really explored. Moreover, the most interesting parts to me were those that explored Amos's relationship with his father, but Portman chose to focus the narrative on his enigmatic, struggling mother -- someone you get the sense that the boy himself never really understood. There are a lot of wonderful scenes here, but they don't really go anywhere. Haval.

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