The Holy Land | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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An Israeli rabbi advises his horny yeshiva student (Oren Rehany) to visit a prostitute so he won't be further distracted, but the youth winds up falling for a 19-year-old Russian hooker (Tchelet Semel) and working at a multicultural bar in Jerusalem that's run by one of her clients (Saul Stein). For his first feature writer-director Eitan Golan has adapted his semiautobiographical novella "Mike's Place, a Jerusalem Diary," and though I anticipated a cutesy comedy, this is something more interesting: a fresh look at contemporary Israeli life, with good performances by all three leads and touching psychological nuances. The story's resolution isn't very satisfying, but I considered most of this movie time well spent. The dialogue is mostly in English; the rest is subtitled Arabic, Hebrew, and Russian. 96 min. Landmark's Century Centre.

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