Ein Shemot al Hadlatot

Director Nadav Levitan / 1996 / Israel

Nadav Levitan's No Names on the Doors is set a modern kibbutz, where social transformation can no longer be kept at bay. Spectres of Arab invasion lurk in the background; financial pressures and the promise of easy wealth are breaking down older, established communal value. A longstanding friendship between two bachelors is the casualty of a strange woman's arrival.

Two contrasting portrayals of grief anchor the narrative; a mourning father finds himself attracted to his dead son's girlfriend, while a mother tends to the memorabilia of her soldier son, killed in combat. Yet change is not always malign; an intellectually disabled man achieves a new, more loving relationship with his father.

With consummate skill, Levitan allows stories to unfold like a finely-spun fabric. Individual conflicts resonate, mirroring the disintegration of the kibbutz ideal, financial considerations begin to take precedence of human ones. No Names on the Doors is a convincing metaphoric microcosm of Israel, striving to adapt its past to the fluid uncertainties of the present and future.

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