Director: Nir Bergman
Genre: Narrative Feature
Running Time: 90 min
Language: Hebrew w/ English subtitles
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With its handsome cinematography and strong performances, SAVING NETA is arguably director Nir Bergman’s best feature to date. The movie is comprised of four loosely linked vignettes about four women who come into contact with the film’s titular character, a man named Neta (Benny Avni).
Bergman’s first story revolves around Dalia (Rotem Abuhab), a career army officer and single mother, who crosses paths with Neta, a down-and-out army recruit, on a particularly tough day at the office. In the film’s second vignette, Ruti (Naama Arlaky), a cellist who is eager to have a baby with her female partner, runs into Neta after breaking her heel on the way to rehearsal. Soon after, she shows up at his home with an unconventional display of gratitude. In the third story, a couple is having a picnic with their children at a national park while Neta struggles to free-climb a mountain in the distance. When the family dog runs away, Miri (Irit Kaplan) stays behind and has an unexpected confrontation with Neta.
In SAVING NETA’s final vignette, Sharona (PJFF alumna Neta Riskin) returns from the States to the kibbutz where she grew up to make arrangements for her mother’s funeral. Her mentally disabled sister, Dan-Dan (Nuria Dina Lozinsky), unable to comprehend what has happened, runs away. Sharona is not able to find her sister and seeks help from Neta, a neighbor and family friend. This compelling and detail-rich character study lingers long after you leave the theater.
Special Guests: Benny Avni, Star of Saving Neta.
Trailer (*no subtitles):
For Fans of: Anthology films, dramas, female-centered films, foreign cinema, Israeli cinema, Israeli life, the films of Nir Bergman
Official Selection: Jerusalem Film Festival
Awards: Audience Award at Jerusalem Film Festival
Reviews: “The performers are all excellent, and if there is a standout, it’s [Nuria Dina] Lozinsky, who gives a completely credible performance as a mentally challenged woman… touching and rewarding.” (Hannah Brown, The Jerusalem Post)