Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Loners - הבודדים


Worth watching:

The Israeli movie "Ha'Bodedim - Loners" is being shown in Israeli cinemas at the moment. In Tel Aviv you can watch the movie at the "Lev Tel Aviv" (3rd floor at the Dizengoff Center). The languages are Hebrew and Russian together with English subtitles.

Sasha Blochin (the blond guy, played by Anton Ostrovsky) and Glory Campbell (played by Sasha Agronov) are two new Russian immigrants serving in the elite unit "Golani". One day, an officer is finding a stolen machine gun in the hands of the two Russian friends. Blochin had lost his former gun and his friend Glory provided him with a new one. Stolen from an army depot. The only problem is that Blochin's lost gun got into the hands of the Hamas and the terrorists killed five Israelis with it. Glory is being accused of stealing ammunition from the depot and both friends end up in the famous army jail "Kele 6". They are sentenced two four years and the army wants to dismiss them into a civil prison. The two Russians refuse and demand another trial in order to prove their innocence. Their officers, however, refuse and as a result, Blochin and Glory start a rebellion in jail.

The movie "Ha'Bodedim" is not about a rebellion but shows us the problems of new immigrants from Russia in Israel; in particular in the army. Young Russians arrive with romantic ideals and want to serve in the army. Furthermore, the are looking for their own place within Israeli society. For acceptance. Israeli society, however, can be extremely brutal to new immigrants. Even an accent in one's Hebrew can be a huge problem, as Israelis love to imitate the Russians, Americans and the French. Another Russian problem is that most of them are not halachically Jewish. 40 % admitted that they have been confronted with rassist remarks from born Israelis.

The officer at "Kele 6" is a Russian himself but makes Blochin's and Glory's life a living hell. Officially the officer is Israeli and he does anything in order to hide his former Russian identity. In the end, he is more Russian than Israeli.

And what does the movie tell us, asks the Hebrew edition of the "Jerusalem Post" ?

The answer is that we Israelis are all rassists.


Last week's Shabbat edition of the daily paper "Maariv" published an article about the Russian actor Anton Ostrovsky. After his Aliyah to Israel, he used to live in Jerusalem but later on, moved to Tel Aviv. There he was homeless and saw how most of his friends went for drugs. He got himself out of the mess and started making some money. Financial difficulties are still a subject but Ostrovsky lives in an apartment in the Florentin neighbourhood (Tel Aviv).

Movie Links in Hebrew:

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