Wednesday, September 09, 2009

"The Yard" A documentary film about a Jerusalem neighborhood by Yochai Rosenberg

KCC is here.JPix is here. Haveil Hevalim is here
Yochai Rosenberg made a film about the neighborhood he grew up in. Yochai tells a very personal story about The Yard overlooked by the apartment where his parents raised him and his six brothers and sisters. Yochai brought his bride Reut to live there after their marriage seven years ago.

The film juxtaposes Yochai's memories of the yard as a happy mix of Jewish kids from many religious and cultural backgrounds. But the yard has changed. The neighbors are mostly cut from the same cloth nowadays and that cloth is the black and white of the charedi (ultra-orthodox as it is sometimes translated) world. This is a world that doesn't like mixtures.
The film is a mix of observations of the current residents whose windows overlook the yard. Daniel, like Yochai, remembers the yesteryear of the yard. But unlike Yochai, Daniel yearns to leave the yard far behind and start over again in Paris. There is Yisrael a charedi boy struggling to grow up in a world that hugs him and holds him very close, too close for him sometimes. Then there's Reut who is talented and artistic and makes every effort to make her corner of the world colorful. Reut paints her window frames blue and has plants on her window sills. Clearly she doesn't share the sense of belonging to the yard.
The film brings us into the personal lives of the people who inhabit Yochai's yard while skillfully leading us to reflect on our own childhood 'yards' and our own attitudes toward change.
We all have stories to tell and I'm glad that Yochai was able to tell his so artfully. I'm sure the exposure was not easy for him (or for Reut). I think the film was well done and I hope that more people will get to see it. I am told that it will be shown some time on television here in Israel and I hope it is soon.


Leora said...

Sounds interesting. Thanks for the review.

Risa Tzohar said...

Thanks for visiting!

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