Matan Yair (2017)
Drama, 88 min, Israel
V.O. Hebrew, French S.T.
A conflicted young Israeli struggles to balance his working life with a new worldview opened up to him by a dedicated teacher. Bright student prone to impulsivity and anger, tightly wound seventeen-year-old Asher grapples to get by amid troublemakers in his class. At home, his ailing father, who assumes his son will inherit the family construction business, discourages academic success. But an assignment from an inspiring literature teacher opens the boy’s eyes to other options. When unexpected tragedy strikes, Asher is torn between family obligation and his raging personal aspirations.
Best supporting actor: Ami Smolartchik, Israeli Film Academy 2017
Aaron Emanuel Award: Best Cinematography, Honorable Mention: Bartosz Bieniek, Jerusalem Film Festival
Haggiag Award: Best Israeli Feature, Matar Yair
Haggiag Award: Best Actor, Asher Lax
Special Mention: Asian Feature Film, Singapore International Film Festival
There is a feeling of authenticity about the film: Yair knows these kids and teachers, and he never sacrifices the story to make a point
Jerusalem Post – Hanna Brown
Quite unlike anything else in current Israeli cinema
Variety – Alissa Simon
A tough and moving educational drama
The Hollywood Reporter – Jordan Mintzer