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Review: Eli and Ben

A different sort of opener for this year's Boston Jewish Film Festival
By PETER KEOUGH  |  October 28, 2009
2.5 2.5 Stars


Unlike most opening-night crowd pleasers, Ori Ravid’s thoughtful coming-of-age tale starts off the Boston Jewish Film Festival with some ambiguity and edge. Young Eli (Yuval Shevach) and his days of minor school mischief collide with the real world when his architect father, Ben (Lior Ashkenazi), gets busted on what dad says is a framed-up charge of corruption.

Eli is further confused when his bully buddy clouts the class nerd with a brick and gets off with a slap on the wrist. He hardly even has time to worry about the cute girl who keeps putting him off while she waits for the beau she really wants to get out of a back brace. Into this void of lost trust and disillusionment steps crack police inspector Amos (Tzahi Grad, the Israeli Ray Winstone), who offers advice and sympathy.

But is he just manipulating Eli to close the case? Ravid respects the murk of morality too much to draw easy answers — too bad he relies so much on Eli’s voiceover narration to spell out the questions.

Related: Review: Within the Whirlwind, Review: (Untitled), Review: The Maid, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Ray Winstone, Boston Jewish Film Festival
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