When watching a movie, you always want it to be something that absolutely blows you away. You want that feeling a movie taking you aback and just flabbergast you at what you are watching. You want the actions on screen and what eventually plays out to mesmerize you. That should be the goal of every film. However, the idea is only fleshed out in the first half of the movie. You can put a lot of movie magic and interesting film making there. But none of that can make up for an underdeveloped and uninspired second and third act.
The film focuses on a director whose amply named a singular letter, Y (Avshalom Pollak) as he is making a film about famous Palestinian Ahed Tamini. Tamini has become famous for resisting arrest. They also slapped a member of the Israeli forces in a now factual viral moment. A ministry invites him back to a library in his home town. It’s a small town of Avara region to screen one of his earlier films. Meeting him at the library by Yahalom (Nur Fibak) who informs Y that the ministry has laid down some ground rules. And that during the proceeding question and answer period he cannot digress from the topics that they deemed acceptable.
Throughout the first act of the film audiences are tense and engaged within everything that is taking place throughout the feature. But it becomes more focused on the politics of what he must face and cannot speak his mind. Here, the movie gets lost in monologues and loses its original intensity and passion. The main message of the film is an argument between art and state in a sense. He wants to have artistic freedom and allow himself to express what he wants to say and how he wants to say it. But the politics surrounding the subject matter and what he wants to say becomes part of a messy web of decisions.
The performances in Ahed’s Knee from both Avshalom Pollak and Nur Fibak are nothing short of exemplary. They convey such passion and emotion throughout their performances. They really leaves the audience in awe by their ability to evoke such reactions from the audience. We are able to seep into these characters and gather an understanding and feeling for what they are experiencing.
Ahed’s Knee suffers from a little bit of a loss from its story telling and ability to keep the intensity throughout the feature. But it manages to save itself fully by the performances from the two leads. It is a difficult and powerful watch that deems your attention and will likely leave lingering thoughts after it ends.
- Rated: NR
- Genre: Drama
- Directed by: Nadav Lapid
- Starring: Avshalom Pollak, Lidor Edri, Michal Benkovitz Sasu, Mili Eshet, Nur Fibak, Oded Azulay, Roni Boksbaum
- Produced by: Eve Robin, Judith Lou Lévy, Osnat Handelsman-Keren, Talia Kleinhendler
- Written by: Haim Lapid, Nadav Lapid
- Studio: ARTE France Cinéma, Decia Films, Komplizen Film, L'Aide aux Cinémas du Monde, Les Films Du Bal, Pie Films, ZDF/Arte