Saturday, February 17, 2007

Berlinale's Crystal Bear

The Israeli film "Sweet Mud" (originally, "Adama Meshugaat", meaning "Crazy Earth") by director Dror Shaul has been awarded the Crystal Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival. This is the top prize in the contest for films aimed at children and teenagers. I'd say that's an odd, even amusing, category for this film. I haven't seen it yet, but I heard it starts with a dairy farmer at a kibbutz getting a blow-job from a calf (apparently this is an in-joke for kibbutzniks: there's a legend in these collective communities that the farmers get gratified by the udder suckling calves).

Sweet Mud tells the tale of a boy in a Kibbutz whose mother is mentally ill. The supposedly supportive community shuns her.

Two other Israeli films screened at the festival were "Beaufort", about the last days of an Israeli military outpost in Southern Lebanon before the 2000 pullout, and "The Bubble", about a homosexual affair between a Palestinian and an Israeli in Tel-Aviv. Later today we'll know if one of these got another prize.

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