Israeli director Ofir Raul Graizer has lived in Berlin for 12 years now; there he makes films and has even published a cookbook. As in his acclaimed debut film “The Cakemaker”, “America” again demonstrates his sure instinct for sensual cinema combined with tales of Israeli emigration. On this occasion the central figure is Eli, who has long broken with his past and today lives in the USA. Once a successful swimmer he now, as a swimming instructor, wants to teach only children who suffer from anxiety and difficulties. When forced to go to Israel for personal reasons he unintentionally triggers off a drama that proves unsettling for all involved and yet, at the same time, brings them closer together. The colours, shapes and idiosyncrasies of flowers prove tone-setting here in far more than a mere metaphorical sense.
Ofir Raul Graizer likes to place a heavy burden on his characters, as he concedes in an interview with Variety magazine: “Life is full of things we cannot control. As a filmmaker and writer, I am a bit of a sadist. I like putting my characters in these terrible situations, because they force you to confront who you are. There are feelings of guilt and shame and responsibility that come with it. …When something violent and unexpected happens, it changes everything. It’s something I relate to and something I am afraid of.”
Text: Jörg Taszman
English: Peter Rickerby