Drama set to music. 109 min.
In Hebrew, German, English and Polish with English subtitles.
Two Israeli sisters, the daughters of Holocaust survivors, unravel the shocking truth about their father’s murky wartime experiences in this hybrid detective thriller and heart-tugging drama. Set in historic 1977, the film centers on combative liberal journalist, Nana, and her younger sister, Sephi, a soprano and aspiring composer. After a choral performance in West Berlin, Sephi is traumatized by a startling encounter with an elderly Polish woman who angrily accuses her father of murder. As guilty secrets and troubling revelations are dredged up, Past Life boldly charts dangerous emotional territory, still very much part of the Israeli collective subconscious. Award-winning writer-director Avi Nesher, himself the son of Holocaust survivors, based his screenplay on actual events chronicled in Can Heaven Be Void?, the wartime diaries of Dr. Baruch Milch. The film’s polished period details, rich-hued cinematography and handsome production design are further served by a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack. Includes music by the real Sephi, Ella Milch-Sheriff.
Stars: Nelly Tagar (Zero Motivation), Joy Rieger (Mika’s Homecoming), Evgenia Dodina (One Week and a Day, A Touch Away), Rafael Stachowiak and Donon Tavory (Lemon Tree)
Director: Avi Nesher (Turn Left at the End of the World, The Matchmaker, The Wonders)
Writer: Avi Nesher
Composers: Cyrille Aufort, Avner Dorman, Ella Milch-Sheriff
The portrait of the artist as a young woman fighting to find her voice in the male-dominated classical music world is one of the most poignant parts of the story…May be (Avi Nesher’s) best film yet – and that’s saying a lot.