World Cinema Amsterdam | Internationaal filmfestival | 18 – 27 Augustus 2016

God's Neighbors

Meni Yaesh | Israel | 2012 | 98 | Hebrew | English subtitles
Gods Neighbors
Director Meni Yaesh received many awards for his compelling debut film Gods Neighbors, including the SACD award for Best Screenplay at the 2012 Cannes film festival.

Avi, Kobi and Yaniv, who are in their early 20s, see it as their task to enforce the strict Torah laws in Bat Yam, a Tel Aviv suburban neighbourhood. Anyone who dares to listen to music, keep their shops open or dress immodestly on Shabbat is violently berated by the three young men. Their prime targets are Arabs and liberal Jews. But under this religious guise they are in fact a gang, whose members lead far from exemplary lives. Then Avi meets and falls in love with attractive, independent-minded Miri. His feelings for her unsettle him, which inevitably also affects the interpersonal relations within the gang.

With this stylishly designed film Yaesh, who is also responsible for the screenplay, not only depicts the negative sides of religious intolerance, but also convincingly shows how these young men struggle with their convictions, impulses and desires. In doing this he manages to maintain a surprisingly light-footed tone.

Vondelpark: Sat 3 aug 21:30
MHPlein: Thur 15 aug 21:30
Rialto: Fri 16 aug 19:15 
Vu: Wed 4 sep 21:15