Thursday, June 11, 2015

Film fest selection returns to the big screen

Originally released in July 2013 in Israel, Hunting Elephants made the Toronto Jewish Film Festival's roster of must-see films. Nearly two years to the day after its initial showing, the film returns this Friday to three Rainbow Cinema theatres in Greater Toronto Area.

The film centres around Jonathan, a boy genius with severe social problems. After losing his father in a traumatic event, his mother leaves him at his grandfather nursing home and he's forced to reconnect with the bitter old man, who never sought to stay in touch. While there, Jonathan meets a host of eccentric figures, including his grandfather's friend Nick and past Lehi underground members who used to rob banks for their country during the British occupation.

From acclaimed writer and director Reshef Levi, the mad-capped caper climax is about a plan to rob the bank Jonathan's late father worked for. It co-stars Patrick Stewart, known for his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation who was last seen in last summer's blockbuster X-Men Days of Future Past as Prof. Charles Xavier. In Hunting Elephants, Stewart  portrays Jonathan's uncle as a near-caricature of himself, an Englishman and frustrated Shakespearean actor trying to get his hands on his sister's inheritance.

Call it Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with an Israeli twist.

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