Watch A Tale of Love and Darkness
- 1 hr 35 min
A Tale of Love and Darkness is a 2015 Israeli-American film directed by Natalie Portman based on the autobiographical novel of the same name by Amos Oz. The movie follows the life of Amos Oz and his family during the establishment of the state of Israel. Portman, who also wrote the script, stars in the film alongside Gilad Kahana and Amir Tessler. The story begins in Jerusalem in the late 1940s. Amos Oz (played by Tessler) is a young boy growing up in a secular Jewish family. His mother, Fania (played by Portman), is a sensitive and intellectually curious woman who struggles with depression. His father, Arieh (played by Kahana), is a scholar and a dreamer who believes in the Zionist cause. As the film progresses, the family's relationships become strained. Fania's depression deepens, and she becomes unable to take care of her family. Arieh, meanwhile, becomes increasingly focused on his work and his political beliefs, leaving little time for his wife and son. The backdrop of the story is the conflict between Jews and Arabs in Palestine. As tensions mount, the family is forced to move to a kibbutz. There, Amos meets other children his own age and becomes friends with a girl named Yardena (played by Neta Riskin). However, even here, the family's difficulties continue. Fania becomes more and more withdrawn, and Arieh is consumed with worry about the future of Israel. As he grows older, Amos starts to develop a sense of his own identity. He becomes a writer, inspired by his mother's love of literature, and begins to question his father's political beliefs. Along the way, he struggles to come to terms with his parents' complicated relationship and the difficult history of his country. The film is a beautiful and poignant exploration of family, love, and the meaning of home. Portman's direction is sensitive and nuanced, capturing the complex emotions of her characters. She also brings a unique perspective to the story, as an Israeli-American actress who grew up in Jerusalem herself. Portman's performance as Fania is particularly remarkable. She brings a quiet intensity to the role, conveying the character's deep sadness and fragility. Kahana is also excellent as Arieh, bringing both tenderness and stubbornness to his character. Tessler, as the young Amos, gives a touching and authentic performance. The cinematography is also noteworthy, with beautiful shots of Jerusalem and the Israeli countryside. The score, by Nicholas Britell, is haunting and atmospheric. Overall, A Tale of Love and Darkness is a moving and thought-provoking film that offers a unique perspective on Israeli history and culture. Portman's direction and performance are captivating, and the story is both intimate and epic in scope. It is a film that will resonate with audiences both in Israel and around the world.