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Jellyfish (Meduzot) (2007)

Zharira Charifai , Sarah Adler , Shira Geffen , Etgar Keret  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Zharira Charifai, Sarah Adler, Nikol Leidman, Gera Sandler, Noa Knoller
  • Directors: Shira Geffen, Etgar Keret
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, HiFi Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: English, German, Hebrew, Tagalog
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Zeitgeist Films
  • DVD Release Date: September 30, 2008
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,961 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Jellyfish (Meduzot)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Video interview with the filmmakers
  • Features a new version of Edith Piaf's classsic song "La Vie En Rose"

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Winner of the Caméra d'or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, Jellyfish (Meduzot) is a richly imaginative portrait of three very different women emotionally adrift in Tel Aviv. Co-directed by acclaimed Israeli author Etgar Keret (The Nimrod Flipout, The Girl on the Fridge) and his wife Shira Geffen, the film explores Israeli frames of mind in a unique fashion--remarkably apolitical and boldly atmospheric, buoyed by charming touches of magical realism. While Batya (Sarah Adler, Godard's Notre Musique), a struggling waitress, cares for a mysterious child that appeared to her out of the sea, newlywed Keren nurses a broken leg and a ruined honeymoon, and Filipino migrant worker Joy tries to support her son back home. With striking cinematography and moving performances, Jellyfish is a witty and warm reflection on making connections and confronting destiny in a deconstructed urban landscape.

- New anamorphic master, enhanced for widescreen televisions
- Video interview with filmmakers Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen
- U.S. Theatrical Trailer
- Optional English subtitles
- Filmmaker Statement

Twenty-first century Tel Aviv represents something different for each of the women in Jellyfish. Waitress Batya (Sarah Adler, Notre Musique) finds a strangely familiar lost child, Keren (Noa Knoller) experiences an unusual honeymoon, and Joy (Ma-nenita De Latorre) looks after a lonely old lady to support her son in the Philippines. The three don't know each other and nor do they have much in common, but all try to make the best out of their given situation. Batya, who has just broken up with her boyfriend, keeps an eye on the ethereal five-year-old (Nikol Leidman) until social services can take over. At the same time, Keren's husband, Michael (Gera Sandler), befriends a beautiful woman with a dark secret while his wife nurses a broken leg Then things get really strange. Co-directors Shira Geffen and Etgar Keret (whose novella Kneller's Happy Campers inspired Wristcutters: A Love Story) blur the distinctions between fantasy and reality. Sometimes, for instance, other people see the unnamed little girl; sometimes they don’t. As in the existential epigrams of the late Krzysztof Kieslowski (the Three Colors Trilogy), characters cross paths and affect each other's lives, like when Batya accidentally causes Joy to lose something precious, but never realize they're threads in a larger tapestry. The DVD includes the theatrical trailer and a conversation with the married filmmakers. Along with The Band's Visit, which also appeared in 2008, this lovely and touching film proves that Israeli cinema has finally come into its own. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jellyfish: Poetic Beauty of Its Own August 20, 2008
In "Jellyfish" three stories about ordinary people, mostly women, unfold in the city of Tel Aviv. With very poetic, sometimes bizarre images that are often humorous in an unexpected way, "Jellyfish" shows the changes that happen inside these flawed, but ultimately lovable characters will eventually experience: changes that are very small, but big enough for them (or "Jellyfishes" ) to take a step out of loneliness into a new life.

French-Israeli film "Jellyfish" ("Meduzot") follows the events that happen to three women - Batia (Sarah Alder), a waitress whose boyfriend had just left her, and who meets a strange little girl at seashore; Joy (Ma-nenita De Latorre), a Filipino nurse and mother who had to leave her boy back in her country, and whose recent job is to accompany Malka (Zaharira Harifai), very difficult old lady; and Keren (Noa Knoller), a bride who had broken her leg at her wedding and whose relationship with her husband Michael (Gera Sandler), it is obvious, is on the rocks, partly because she suspects Michael is attracted to a beautiful, older woman staying at their hotel.

[THIS PARAGRAPH CONTAINS MILD SPOILERS] You will notice the same leitmotif used in the film's (seemingly) loosely woven stories. The three narratives are only loosely connected, but same images appear repeatedly - ships and water (or sea) most notably, plus shadow of death. Recurrent imagery implies the sense of connection between seeming strangers (compare carefully what Batia and the mysterious little girl do, and try to find the girl's float in Batia`s flashback scenes).
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living on the Lonely Rim of Life October 11, 2008
There are an increasingly impressive number of films coming from Israel and MEDUZOT (JELLYFISH) is one of the more creative works of cinematic art in that rich catalogue. Shira Geffen (who also wrote the screenplay) and Etgar Keret collaborated on this seemingly small film and from a few threads of separate and disparate characterizations have woven a fascinating and deeply touching montage of the lives of several people whose destinies curiously intersect. The manner in which the film is presented is a graceful mixture of naturalism and fantasy and the directors know just how to combine the two approaches to maximum effect.

The film opens in Tel Aviv at a routine wedding reception where untidy Batya (Sarah Adler) works as a waitress, her life being recently shaken by the dissolution of her relationship. At this noisy and gaudy reception we also notice the bride Keren (Noa Knoller) who encounters an accident in the washroom that results in a broken leg requiring a cast and preventing her from a planned honeymoon (her new husband Michael - Gera Sandler - finds instead a hotel on the noisy boulevard which is less than romantic), and Joy (Ma-nenita De Latorre), a Filipino caregiver for older unwanted women who works to send support to her young son in the Philippines, and a young female photographer who captures it all on film. The owner of the catering business fires Batya and the photographer and the two share living space. While musing on the beach Batya finds a strange young mute girl (Nicol Leidman) wearing a circular floating device and when Batya cannot find the girl's parents she resorts to police help - a turn which only places Batya as custodian of the strange child.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a new favorite. August 3, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
'Jellyfish' is set in Tel Aviv and follows several women (a new bride, a wedding caterer, a photographer, and a caregiver) in an intersecting plot, which shows us touching, sad, and humorous moments of their lives. Really a beautiful film. There's a lot of depth of character but the feeling of the movie is always light. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for bonus features on the dvd release.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where IS That Darn Ice Cream Man Anyway? March 31, 2010
I found it interesting to see a story set in Tel Aviv that told of the lives of modern Israelis as other than individuals whose daily existences are mired in the shadow of ever-present terrorism and omnipresent political turmoil. Except for the language differences, these people could as easily have been western Europeans or even Americans. There was good acting here, a lot of multi-faceted female characters, and a strong sense of "what next?" that pulled my interest along. What did bother me was the way the story ultimately reminded me so much of the experimental European cinema of past generations in the way it flirted with symbolism and even magic realism (my number one least favorite way to tell a tale). What was left was a movie that was stronger for its visuals and characters than its actual plotlines, and so what might have been a four-star picture became something less in the final tally.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dreamy surrealistic exploration of social isolation June 29, 2009
The English title of this excellent movie "Jellyfish" is so much less evocative than the Hebrew "Medusas." A Medusa floats through the sea, its wavy strands of poison trailing around it, buffeted by the waves but still capable of delivering a nasty sting.
In this movie of three interlocking stories, people float through their lives looking for connections. Most of the film is realistic but occasionally it moves into dreamy surreal passages which illuminate the characters' inner dilemmas.
Batya, abandoned as a child by her warring parents, finds it hard to make connections. Her boyfriend leaves and her job as a waitress at a wedding hall mocks her own isolation. One day at the beach, she's approached by an adorable little girl with a red plastic life preservers around her waist. The girl never speaks but seems real. Others can see her too. It's only gradually we learn that she is a representative of Batya herself as a young girl.
Another plot concerns Joy, one of many Philippine women working in Israel looking after old people. She has to take care of an old lady who came from Germany many decades ago and speaks only German and Hebrew, neither of which Joy speaks. The old lady's daughter, who ought to be taking care of her, is too busy pursuing a mediocre career as an actress.
In the third story, a newly-married couple suffers through a honeymoon in a sleazy hotel where everything goes wrong.
This movie has moments of real poetic beauty. In the end, all the various plot strands come together and are in some sense resolved.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Pseudo Intellectual
I normally enjoy stories of marginally connected characters going through various crises but this one overreaches. Read more
Published 8 months ago by mr. contrarian
5.0 out of 5 stars Jellyfish poetry
This film comes closest to mimicing literary poetry of any film I've seen. The subconscious mind is awakened by the imagery. Fantasy intertwines with reality. Read more
Published on May 30, 2011 by Linda C. Cramer
4.0 out of 5 stars Another interesting movie out of Israel
"Jellyfish" (78 min., originally released in Israel in 2007) brings the story of 3 women in contemporary Tel Aviv, with the Mediterranean Sea playing a pivotal role as well in the... Read more
Published on February 12, 2011 by Paul Allaer
5.0 out of 5 stars Life of a woman
There are three female characters in this remarkable movie from Israel. One is a young woman, with dead end job, boyfriend who is leaving her and her irresponsible landlord. Read more
Published on March 19, 2009 by Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Visual Poetry about the Joys That Can Unexpectedly Link Our Lives
If you've never seen a contemporary Israeli film, then "Jellyfish" is a wonderful starting point. It's visual poetry, a weaving together of the stories of a half dozen Israeli... Read more
Published on September 29, 2008 by David Crumm
4.0 out of 5 stars More good cinema from Israel; Sarah Adler is the standout here
We'll watch most things coming out of Israel - it's a small country that definitely punches above its weight in terms of quality cinema. Read more
Published on August 7, 2008 by Andy Orrock
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