Tel-Aviv Stories

Israeli color

Cannes Film Festival (market), May 19, 1993–Tel Aviv Stories is Israel's response to Pedro Almodovar's classic farce, Women on the Verge of Nervous Breakdown. Mildly entertaining anthology of three short stories, each focusing on a hysterical woman in a state of crisis, provides some insights about the psyche of modern Israeli women. However, uneven writing and amateurish production values will limit the appeal of dramedy to those interested in the new Israeli cinema.

In the first story, “Sharona Honey,” a stunningly beautiful woman (Yael Abecassis) is relentlessly pursued by four men, all madly in love with her, all interested in fathering her baby.

At the center of “Operation Cat,” the second and weakest segment, is Sophie (Ruthi Goldberg), a woman dumped by her husband, who spends most of her time fighting bureaucratic obstacles in her attempt to save a kitten caught in the sewer.

The third, and most hysterical, episode, “Divorce,” revolves around Tikva (Anat Waxman), a police woman who loses her temper and holds innocent people as hostages in order to prevent her husband from leaving the country before granting her a divorce.

The anthology's premise, three women in extreme situations, each learning to be stronger and tougher, is amusing, but the execution of this low-budgeter leaves a lot to be desired. Still, all three actresses are charming and interesting to watch, even when the lines they're given to deliver lack wit. Singly and collectively, they provide a glimpse into the changing morality and sexuality of the new Israeli woman.

A Dream Entertainment production. Produced by Ehud Bleiberg and Yitzhak Ginsberg. Directed by Nirit Yaron and Ayelet Menahemi. Screenplay, Yaron, Menahemi, Shemi Zarhin. Camera (color), Amnon Zlavet, Jorge Gurevitz; editor, Menahemi; music, Ari Frankel, Shlomo Gronich; associate producer, Shuki Friedman. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 19, 1993. Running time: 95 min. Sharona…Yael Abecassis
Sophie….Ruthi Goldberg
Tikva……..Anat Waxman