“THE OTHER STORY”— Tension and Intrigue from Israel

Avi Nesher’s “The Other Story” is a family drama from Israel that is tense and filled with intrigue. Anat has recently become an ultra-Orthodox Jew, is about to get married. Her father returns to Israel to try to stop the wedding and family disputes and conspiracies arise. Meanwhile, her grandfather, Shlomo (Sasson Gabai), a marriage counselor, has a client who has chosen to reject Orthodoxy and embrace spiritual freedom. When the women cross paths, the consequences are unexpected.  While the film is grounded through a father-daughter relationship, it also touches on the struggles between Ultra-Orthodox Judaism and secular lifestyles. There are two major plots going on in the film. One is the relationship between Anat Abadi (Joy Rieger) and Shachar Elkayam (Nathan Goshen).  The other deals with patients of Dr. Shlomo Abadi (Sasson Gabai), Rami (Maayan Bloom) and Sari (Avigail Harari). 

When Shlomo brings in his son, Yonatan (Yuval Segal), to help these two, it somehow enables Yonatan to become closer with his daughter.  Anat and Sari are rebels in their own way.  Where Anat has found herself becoming more religious, Sari is driven further away from Judaism. When the film begins, Tali (Maya Dagan) didn’t have the best relationship with her daughter, Anat.  Neither did her ex-husband, Yonatan.  He escaped a damaging scandal to be there for his daughter but only after Shlomo buys a plane ticket.  Their relationship hasn’t been the best but he wants to be there for her now.  Of course, he will try to manipulate her so that Tali wins but love can be strange.  None of them are happy that she followed her boyfriend Shachar into the Ultra-Orthodox Judaism lifestyle.  They’ll do anything if it meets getting her to forget that way of life. While Anat rebels against her parents by becoming religious, it’s interesting to see how her parents react to these decisions.  Based on a true story, the film will shows us a lot about these two different worldviews–Ultra-Orthodox Judaism and the secular world.  The film is more entertaining than one might’ve expected but because it is all-over-the-place, it becomes tiresome and uninvolving.

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