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Year: 2003
USA: Wellspring
Cast: Ayelet July Zurer, Aviv Elkabets, Yoram Hatav, Shmil Ben-Ari, Anat Waxsman, Alon Aboutboul, Dov Navon, Jenya Dodina
Director: Savi Gabizon
Country: Israel
Language: Hebrew (English subtitles)
USA: 110 mins
USA Release Date: 25 March 2005 (Limited Release)

US Distributor


Birth. Death. Life. Love. Marriage. Divorce. Infatuation. Passion. Joy. Heartbreak. And dancing Hassids! Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of NINA'S TRAGEDIES, writer/director Savi Gabizon's serio-comic look at an Israeli teenager's coming-of-age and his attraction to his beautiful but emotionally fragile Aunt Nina.

Winner of 11 Israeli Academy prizes (including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay) as well as Best Film and Best Screenplay awards at the Jerusalem International Film Festival, NINA'S TRAGEDIES takes place over an intensely emotional six months in the life of 14 year-old Nadav (Aviv Elkabets). The film unfolds through a series of funny and touching journal entries in which Nadav reminisces about this turbulent period in his family's history - from his high-strung Uncle Haimon's (Yoram Hatav) untimely death to the passing of his estranged, deeply religious father, Amnon (Shmil Ben-Ari).

After Haimon is killed in a terrorist attack, Nadav is asked by his wild, recently divorced mother Alona (Anat Waxsman), to move in with her sister, Nina (Ayelet July Zurer), to provide comfort while Nina mourns the death of her new husband, Haimon. Nadav is only too happy to comply, as he's infatuated with his stunning aunt, with whom he shares a special friendship--not to mention a secret, adolescent crush.

But as Nina gets over her loss and finds solace with a handsome but eccentric photographer named Avinoam (Alon Aboutboul), Nadav feels unexpectedly betrayed and must find a way to reconcile his hormonally charged emotions. At the same time, his best friend Menahem (Dov Navon) - a kind of grown-up version of Nadav - has found love with a sultry Russian immigrant named Galina (Jenya Dodina), leaving Nadav alone to pursue the "peeping tom" exploits he once shared with the sex-obsessed Menahem.

The sensitive Nadav eventually finds his way, forced to mature quickly and irrevocably, as the fallible, often disappointing adults around him go through their own "growing pains."

By turns profound and whimsical, sexy and surprising, NINA'S TRAGEDIES is ultimately about unconditional acceptance and the power of love to heal.

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