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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Winner of the Grand Prize at Tokyo s 2007 FilmEx festival competition, Tehilim places French-born writer-director Raphael Nadjari at the forefront of Israel s ongoing cinematic new wave. In contemporary Jerusalem, an average middle class Jewish family balances the rituals of family, friends, religion and workaday life. But when middle-aged father and husband Eli (Shmuel Vilozni) unaccountably vanishes after a fluke car accident, the ensuing legal and emotional crisis gradually immerses Eli s spouse and two young sons in a muted real-life nightmare redefining the boundaries of everything they know, love and believe. While wife Alma (Limor Goldstein) navigates a bureaucratic maze of social services and paperwork, elder son Menachem (Michael Moshonov Late Marriage) has his fragile faith and elusive adolescent peace of mind shaken to the core. Leading a pitch-perfect ensemble of professional and non-professional actors, Michael Moshonov imbues his character with a mystery and ambiguity that young people in cinema are often missing. (Le Monde) An intimate, disturbing tale (Variety) that gets under your skin and stays with you, (International Herald Tribune) Tehilim is a low-key existential thriller that uses circumstantial fallout from random tragedy to dramatically x-ray the fragile bonds tenuously holding individuals, relationships, families, and religions together.


...moves with such an assured, unhurried pace... that audiences will soon forget they are watching a film and believe it is life itself unfolding before their eyes. --Screen International

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Limor Goldstein, Robert Hoenig, Michael Moshonov, Yonathan Alster, Shmuel Vilojni
  • Directors: Raphael Nadjari
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Hebrew
  • 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: KINO VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001PJRAQ2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,840 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By katzarumatok on January 19, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Note well: In terms of narrative expectations, especially conventional expectations for resolution and closure by the end of the story, the film will prove unsatisfying to many viewers. If you are comfortable with a very open-ended and ambivalent "ending" (and a fair amount of ambivalence throughout), this film will reward you in abundance. This movie is terrific for a number of reasons: The acting is outstanding; the writing is truthful and engaging; the direction is well beyond competent; and the list continues. Where it really shines is in its gradual revelation of the inner life and dynamics of the little family at its core and the relationship between the family's particular character and the National Religious sector of Israeli society to which it belongs. The National Religious, or Religious Zionist, population of Israel (roughly, though by no means entirely, equivalent to the Modern Orthodox in the U.S.) are seldom portrayed this honestly and non-judgmentally in either film or television (the Israeli TV show Srugim being a notable exception). The Neo-realist idiom of the film (a difficult style to work with that, elsewhere, has often led to excruciatingly long and boring scenes)here creates a feeling of intimacy with the family, and the superb acting and chemistry between the characters keeps every scene fresh and engaging and rescues the viewer from feeling like he's stuck in the cinematic equivalent of the longest line in the grocery store. In spite of (or maybe because of) the ambiguities in both then ending and the film itself, I've gone back to this film again and again (I'm on my 6th viewing at the time of this writing) and have yet to feel that my time was misspent.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 22, 2011
Format: DVD
I've been on a great run of movies out of Israel lately (more on that later) and I happened to pick this one up recently, not knowing much about it.

"Tehilim" (95 min.; originally released in 2007) brings a deceptive initial 15 min. opening, in which we watch an average Jewish family in Jerusalem go about its business. Then one day, the dad, taking his 2 sons to school, gets into a strange car accident, sends his oldest son out for help, and upon the son's return to the scene of the accident, the dad is missing. We don't know know why or how. The rest of the movie brings the struggles of the wife and her sons, trying to adjust to a new life with a missing father. The movie focuses on the oldest son, who's (I'm guessing) 17 or so, trying to do the best he can, feeling depressed about the mysterious loss of his father. There is no happy ending, where everything is somehow explained or resolved.

This movie made quite a spash at the Cannes Film Festival, and it's easy to see why. Great acting all around, for one. If you like mainstream Hollywood movies, this is not for you. If on the other hand, you like challenging foreign/indie movies, then by all means check this out. And if you are looking for other great Israeli movies, let me just mention Lemon Tree, Or My Treasure, Free Zone, For My Father, Seven Minutes in Heaven, and of course last Fall's theatrical release Lebanon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By שיה on September 30, 2014
Format: DVD
Apparently this needs to be stated in simple language:

If you need a movie to hold you by the hand and tell you want to think, this is not the movie for you.

One reviewer complained that the complexities weren't explored in depth. If all the problems in the film were handled in depth, it would have been 7 hours long. Think for yourself. Use your own intellect. If you like movies that allow you -- and require you -- to think for yourself, you are more likely to enjoy this one.

Another reviewer complained that the movie is "too much like life." This is not an escapist film meant to entertain you. This is not a Hollywood blockbuster. It is an observation of a family traumatized by the disappearance of its leader and the tsurit that take his place.

This is a good film for those who appreciate the traditional Jewish view that one should be encouraged to use his own intellect to develop understanding -- an understanding of our place of the world, of the proper way to behave when things aren't going your way. Like traditional Jewish study, you are given suggestions and some guidance, but you are expected to do the real work yourself.

You aren't a child. You don't need to be given a resolution wrapped in a nice little package, as if such things really followed tragedy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Weiss on April 19, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
There could have been about a 15 min. editing of the film, but ultimately one sat through and gave a goodly amount of reflection after. It makes for interesting discussion. A typically bickering, but gently prodding family with two sons, one about 11 and the older perhaps 16 or just 17. One morning when Dad takes the boys to school (bus has been missed), he passes by the school to the dismay and consternation of the boys. When asked what's happening, he crashes the car. The younger is momentarily unconscious, the older goes for help. Returning with aid, the father is missing. He is never located and the fragmentation of the wife and sons creates the dynamics for the plot. The inability to connect with each other causes further grief and misunderstandings within the wider family context. There will be an affirmative ending but the twists before and the questions of ethics make for much thought on the part of the viewer. It's a rich source of discussion.
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