Day After Day

I usually prefer the documentaries of the talented Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai to his fiction films, but this 1998 narrative feature is fascinating nonetheless. The second part of a trilogy about contemporary Israeli cities, it focuses on a spoiled mama’s boy in the port city of Haifa who cheats on his wife, but the other characters become progressively more interesting, including his mother (who runs a bakery with her Arab husband), his wife, various members of his social circle, and even a bored surveillance officer who periodically observes the proceedings during a few comic interludes. Many of these characters are randier than those usually found in Israeli cinema, and the concentration on sex is refreshing; so are the glimpses of casual, everyday interaction between Jews and Arabs. The story may be unsatisfying, but it takes us through a lot of interesting and amusing places. 100 min. (JR)

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