TIFF 2018: Our Review of ‘Redemption’

TIFF 2018: Our Review of ‘Redemption’

Identity crises are universal but Redemption brings out that crisis’ specificity within the Jewish male experience. Choosing between rock and religion might be easy for some but it isn’t for Menachem (Moshe Folkenflick). Although sometimes, his two loves might actually help him as well as his daughter Geula (Emily Granin).

Co-directors Boaz Yehonathan Yacov and Yossi Madmony tell Menachem or Menny’s story. Chemotherapy isn’t working for young Geula so they decide to use an experimental and expensive treatment. The only way for him to get that money is to reunite his old rock band. They end up doing wedding gigs.

Yacov handles the cinematography side of this collaborative movie. It evokes at moments the 90s music video aesthetic with its faded metallic colors. This isn’t just a nostalgic trip, though. Audiences can see the nuance of Menny’s struggles to cope with everything. The frame confines Menny during his trying times.

Folkenflick is excellent, choosing to show Menny as someone who can’t return to the past or doesn’t want to. If there’s one negative to say about the film is that the the band mate characters are archetypes. There’s Avi the holdout, slacker Gouli (Yonatan Galila), and rich Danny (Shahar Even-Tzur).

The film has its c plots weaving beautifully into the main one. But it’s at its best when it returns to Menny and Geula. Granin is also great as Geula, who could command adults in some scenes and be vulnerable the next. She’s really a child worth rocking out for.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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