A woman seeking to embrace both her faith and her culture finds that neither is as simple as she imagined in this drama from Israel. It's 1981, and Rachel (Michaela Eshet) has become a single mother of two teenage girls after the unexpected death of her husband. Looking for a new identity as she starts her life again, Rachael decides to pull up roots and leave Jerusalem for a new settlement on the West Bank. Rachel's daughters have become acclimated to city life and are unenthusiastic about their mother's decision, but that doesn't change her mind. However, Rachel's neighbors soon make their own feelings felt; they obviously aren't happy with the prospect of a single mother living in their community, and she soon finds herself subjected with any number of matchmaking opportunities from fiftysomething men. More seriously, daughters Esti (Maya Maron) and Tami (Hani Furstenberg) don't feel safe or accepted in their new environment, especially Tami, who has a traumatic experience while on a camping trip with a Zionist youth organization. Campfire was the winner five Israeli Academy Awards in 2005, including Best Picture. … More
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Critic Reviews for Campfire
Pic juggles several storylines that include the personal and political, but is unable to get beyond soap-opera shtick.
It's a story about sexism and inequalities, and were it not for its hokey ending, the film would've gained even more international recognition.
Israeli films in general constitute dissenting voices against the established order by championing individual aspirations. Still, Mr. Cedar's own background makes him an unusual candidate for the role of dissenter.
Beyond casting a jaundiced eye at the community's oppressive communalism, Campfire neither endorses nor opposes the settler movement that since 1981 has become an incendiary issue in Israel.
A humane portrait of a troubled household and, by extension, a troubled country.
A good movie that could have been better, Joseph Cedar's sensitive Israeli drama falters when he trades sociological observations for political ones.
Wraps up rather abruptly and a little too neatly, but Campfire still roars effectively.
Succeeds because Cedar skillfully develops his narrative, and he is ably helped by a strong cast led by Eshet and fine production
Released as the settlements on the Gaza Strip were being dismantled, Cedar's film offers a refreshing new perspective of them and a sly critique of their origins.
A 'little film' about loneliess and the difficult ability to love and to trust --but at the same time more universal than the shifting tide of nations' concerns.
The half-baked, curiously optimistic ending is frustrating, but otherwise this is a moving, beautifully acted picture.
Rings so familiar and universal, you have to remind yourself there are some tricky Middle East politics buried under the emotion.
Audience Reviews for Campfire
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