Friday, May 24th

LATEST:
You are here: People Entertainment Portman's directorial debut is a bitter-sweet Israeli homecoming

Best_of_2015_587x57_Results

Portman's directorial debut is a bitter-sweet Israeli homecoming

portmanJERUSALEM--Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman made her directorial debut with a film sympathetic to the Holocaust-haunted refugees who founded her native Israel, but she bristles at the idea that the portrayal might be patriotic.

Instead, she considers "A Tale of Love and Darkness", her screen adaptation of Israeli novelist Amos Oz's grimy, erotic and bitter-sweet work, a meditation on the shortfalls of national ideals in a land riven by the Palestinians' rival claims.

Asked during the drama's commercial premiere in Jerusalem on Thursday if the project was meant to be pro-Israeli, Portman told Reuters: "Absolutely not ... I actually find it surprising to hear it described as a patriotic film because, for me, much of it has to do with the disappointment of the dream."

She said she sought to convey, as the dovish Oz argued, that Israel's early self-image as "utopia for a land of orphans who came out of the Holocaust (was) maybe blind to some of the realities on the ground - and here we are this many decades later."

The Hebrew-language film, in which Portman also stars as Oz's suicidal mother, focuses on Jewish hardship in a Jerusalem besieged by Arab forces in the 1948 war of Israel's founding. It also touches on the resulting dispossession of Palestinians.

Though Portman waived payment, the film's slim $4.2 million budget drew on support from the rightist Israeli government, which is keen to promote the country's locations for foreign productions and push back against pro-Palestinian boycott calls. Portman took these into account in planning the shoots - which, she said, were all on Israeli land and avoided West Bank and East Jerusalem territory occupied in the 1967 war, where world powers would like to see a Palestinian state set up.

Critical reception for "A Tale of Love and Darkness" has been mixed, suggesting limited international reach. Trade publication Variety called it a "drearily empathetic" film that would rely on Portman's star power to market. Britain's Guardian called it "a serious, well-made adaptation" of Oz's book.

In May, the Hollywood Reporter quoted Portman as saying she was "very much against" Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He had been re-elected two months earlier after rallying his constituents by warning of the left-wing clout of the country's Arab voters - remarks she condemned as "horrific".

On Thursday, Portman, who was born in Jerusalem and moved to the United States at age three, was more guarded on Israeli affairs. "I do obviously love this country and I am also quite critical of it, as I think every engaged citizen should be," she said. "I believe in this country and I believe in the people - that it can be the best version of itself."

Portman, now 34, said "A Tale of Love and Darkness" had offered her a form of completion, in requiring that she reclaim her forgotten Hebrew. "It was very meaningful for me," she said. "It's weird when your first language, and maybe the language of your emotions, of your childhood, is sort of missing."

Image
St. Maarten midday Weather Forecast for Saturday
Saturday, 17 October 2015
DATE ISSUED: Saturday, October 17, 2015 @ 12:00 LST (16:00 UTC) VALID UNTIL: Sunday midday (12:00... Read more...
Image
SHTA poll: Businesses want anti-ship-jumping legislation
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Click here for SHTA graph pdf PHILIPSBURG--The St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association... Read more...
Image
Dominica’s tourism sector ready to welcome visitors after TS Erika
Friday, 16 October 2015
ROSEAU, Dominica--“Dominica is open for business and ready to welcome visitors to its shores.”... Read more...
Image
Reparations Committee: Withdraw Queens’ names from Suriname’s highest mountains
Thursday, 15 October 2015
PARAMARIBO--Suriname’s National Reparations Committee NRCS has filed a request with President... Read more...
Image
Ex-US House Speaker Hastert to plead guilty in hush-money case
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHICAGO--Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is expected to plead guilty in a hush-money case... Read more...
Image
Hillary Clinton to 'look hard' at Julian Castro as possible VP pick
Friday, 16 October 2015
WASHINGTON--Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton won the backing of Housing and Urban... Read more...
Image
Half a million Yemen children face severe malnutrition
Friday, 16 October 2015
GENEVA--More than half a million children in Yemen face life-threatening malnutrition as a risk of... Read more...
Image
Modi to open 70-year-old files in challenge to Gandhi dynasty
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW DELHI--Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will seek to unravel one of India's most enduring... Read more...
Image
Cuba in cash crunch due to low commodity prices, Venezuela woes
Friday, 16 October 2015
HAVANA--Low commodity prices, a drought at home and Venezuela's economic crisis have created a cash... Read more...
Image
Apple's newest courtroom foe is patent-savvy university
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW YORK--As a veteran of the global smart phone wars, Apple is used to courtroom battles with... Read more...
Image
Focus needs to be on fighting crime & helping unemployed
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Editor, With all of the political situation on the island, we can't lose focus on some of the... Read more...
Image
Had enough
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Queenie, My brother died years ago but his widow stayed close to our family. Eventually she... Read more...
Image
RBC St. Maarten Little League School Tournament
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Sister Marie Laurence defeated Leonald Conner in the RBC St. Maarten Little League School... Read more...
Image
Nadal trounces Wawrinka, Djokovic tames Tomic
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHINA-- Former world number one Rafa Nadal displayed more signs of a return to top form with a... Read more...
Image
Junk shop photo spurs quest to confirm Billy the Kid image
Friday, 16 October 2015
DENVER--For the $2 he spent to buy three old photographs, Randy Guijarro may have hit the mother... Read more...
Image
Few signs of improvement for NBA star Odom after collapse
Friday, 16 October 2015
LAS VEGAS--Pro basketball and reality TV star Lamar Odom spent a third day hospitalized on... Read more...
Image
Bruney cruises into retirement
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ After three decade in cruise industry ~   By Alita Singh   Frank Bruney has seen tiny... Read more...
Image
ALL HANDS ON DECK, WE MADE IT!
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ Fair Transport Sailing Vessel Nordlys is launched ~   St. Maarten has been graced by the... Read more...
Editorial - Anybody’s guess
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Governor Eugene Holiday has decided to seek legal clarity on the current constitutional impasse.... Read more...
Editorial - Time is up
Friday, 16 October 2015
With so much ongoing constitutional turmoil, the fact that more than 100 people attended the... Read more...
Image
Saturday Oct. 17, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Image
Friday Oct. 16, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Notices October 16
Friday, 16 October 2015
General Meeting St. Maarten Professional Softball Association (SMPSA) general meeting for the... Read more...
Notices October 15
Thursday, 15 October 2015
General Meeting S.M.P.S.A. general meeting for the softball season 2016 will be held at Sundial... Read more...