House on Chelouche Street, The (1973): Israel Oscar Nominee

The House on Chelouche Street is a 1973 semi-autobiographical film by Israeli director Moshé Mizrahi, filmed in Hebrew, Egyptian Arabic, and Ladino.

The House on Chelouche Street
House on Chelouche Street poster.jpg

Film poster

The film was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

The film tells the story of a Sephardic family of Egyptian Jewish immigrants from Alexandria, which settle in 1947 Tel Aviv.

The clan consists of a 33-year-old widowed wife, Clara, (played by Gila Almagor, one of Israel’s most prominent actresses) and her four children.

They live in a working-class neighborhood surrounded by their extended family, including Clara’s mother Mazal, Clara’s uncle Rafael, and Sultana, his wife.

The plot centers on firstborn Sami, his transition from a shy 15-year-old to a working man and an activist in the “Irgun” (a resistance movement against the military forces of the British), and the romantic attachment he develops with a 25-year-old Russian immigrant librarian (Michal Bat-Adam).

Clara struggles between social pressure to take a husband and her own complex feelings toward another Sephardi Egyptian, played by Yosef Shiloach.

The movie is a vivid and very credible description of the lives of Sephardi immigrant families on the eve of the declaration of the state of Israel, as well as the escalating violence between British forces and the local populace, as well as Palestinian Arab violence towards Jews.

Cast
Gila Almagor as Clara
Ofer Shalhin as Sami
Michal Bat-Adam as Sonia
Yosef Shiloach as Nissim
Rolf Brin as Grossman

Oscar Nominations: 1

Best Foreign Language Film

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The winner was Truffaut’s French comedy, Day for Night.

The other nominees were L’Invitation from Switzerland, The Pedestrian from the Federal Republic of Germany; and Turkish Delight from the Netherlands.

Credits:

Directed by Moshé Mizrahi
Written by Rachel Fabien, Yerech Guber, Mizrahi
Produced by Yoram Globus (exec producer), Menahem Golan (producer)
Cinematography Adam Greenberg
Edited by Dov Hoenig
Music by Dov Seltzer

Release date: 1973

Running time: 110 minutes