Despite a somewhat less than ambitious plot ‚Alyah‚? manages to hook the viewer. Beautiful, experimental cinematography carries a drama that‚(TM)s well acted and at moments exceptionally lyrical. Pio Marma√Į is nice to look at, but he also has a charismatic presence and enough talent to make Alex come alive as a protagonist.
A secular Jew from a liberal community critical of Israeli politics making Aliyah for ambiguous reasons is a meaty subject. Perhaps wisely, director Elie Wajeman chooses to concentrate on Alex‚(TM)s subjective experience. ‚Alyah‚? isn‚(TM)t about world politics or religion but about psychology.
The tone of the movie is subtly somber and completely serious. When Alex is questioned about his decision he states that he is leaving because no one is asking for him to stay. On that note ‚Alyah‚? could be viewed as a tale of a lost man hopelessly running away from himself. But a certain kind of strength permeates the actions of Alex. His determination to escape a meaningless life communicates decisiveness and might represent hope just as well as desperation.