Watch Blaumilch Canal
- 1 hr 35 min
Blaumilch Canal is a classic Israeli comedy film, released in 1969, directed by Ephraim Kishon and starring Bomba Tzur, Nissim Azikri, and Shraga Friedman. The movie, set in Tel Aviv, tells the story of an elderly public employee, Mr. Blaumilch (Friedman), who goes rogue after being transferred to a new position that doesn't align with his values. The film begins with a long, humorous prologue that explains how the city's founders had decided to leave a small narrow strip of land undeveloped, in hopes of one day building a canal that would connect Tel Aviv to the sea. The canal was never built, and the strip of land remained untouched, so when Blaumilch is ordered to pave over it and turn it into a road, he protests, insisting that it should remain as it is. With the help of a few other eccentric characters, including a young policeman (Tzur) and a bohemian flower-seller (Azikri), Blaumilch sets out to stop the construction, using a variety of creative and sometimes absurd methods. Along the way, they encounter various obstacles and challenges, including corrupt bureaucrats, violent construction workers, and their own personal insecurities and doubts. The film is full of witty dialogue, physical comedy, and social commentary, reflecting both the absurdities of Israeli bureaucracy and the optimistic, idealistic spirit of the early years of the state. Blaumilch himself, played with a mix of warmth and cantankerousness by Friedman, is a quintessential Israeli type, the sabra who refuses to be pushed around or compromised, even in the face of overwhelming opposition. The other actors are all excellent as well, with Tzur bringing a youthful energy and idealism to his role as the policeman, and Azikri infusing his character with a bohemian flair and moral clarity. Together, they form a kind of ragtag resistance movement, fighting against the system and for the integrity of the little piece of land that represents their hopes and dreams for a better future. The film's visual style is also notable, with Kishon using a variety of techniques, including quick cuts, exaggerated perspectives, and fantasy sequences, to create a sense of both urgency and whimsy. The canal itself, although it never actually appears onscreen, is a powerful symbol throughout, representing the unfulfilled promise of the city and the potential for something better if only people would work together. Overall, Blaumilch Canal is a funny, poignant, and thought-provoking film that captures the spirit of a particular time and place, while also speaking to universal themes of human dignity, freedom, and community. Although it may be somewhat dated in some respects, it remains an important piece of Israeli cinema and a testament to the power of laughter and satire to effect social change.