Political Film Society - Time of Favor

PFS Film Review
Time of Favor


Time of Favor takes place in a Jewish settlement on the West Bank, where Rabbi Meltzer (played by Assi Dayan) runs a yeshiva. Meltzer’s lectures incite soldiers to act to regain the Temple Mount for the Jewish people. However, the form of action he recommends is nonmilitary, that is, to have thousands of Jews praying at the site. Meanwhile, he wants his daughter Michal (played by Tinkerbell) to marry his best Torah student, a nerd nicknamed Pini (played by Edan Alterman), but she does not want to be a commodity and prefers handsome Menachem (played by Aki Avni), who is the commander of the army unit in the settlement whose members are students at the yeshiva. As the love triangle plays out, Pini is the loser, so he reacts by persuading fellow soldier Itamar (played by Micha Selektar) to steal explosives on the pretext that a big explosion has been ordered by both Rabbi Meltzer and Menachem. Going into an underground tunnel that extends from the settlement toward the Temple Mount, Pini kills Itamar and is prepared to blow himself up in order to make a political statement. Meanwhile, Israeli authorities are watching Rabbi Meltzer, whom they consider dangerous. When Michal gets wind of a plot of some sort, Menachem is arrested in an effort to find out about the plan. Menachem, however, knows nothing. After being slapped a lot during interrogation, he volunteers to talk Pini out of the suicide bomb plot, and then enters the tunnel to save the day. Joseph Cedar, director of Time of Favor, was doing research on the story when a religious fanatic from one of the settlements assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin during a peace rally on November 5, 1995. Film shooting stopped in May 2000, and production work ended just before Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount with his cronies on September 28, 2000. Sharon’s stunt, of course, served to provoke the second Intifada, which continues to escalate to this day. Thus, Time of Favor serendipitously links Sharon’s ill-conceived visit with the extremist politics of the West Bank settlers, so the film can be viewed as a plea for a more peaceful approach to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Accordingly, the Political Film Society has nominated Time of Favor as best film on peace of 2002. MH

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