4 New-ish Israeli Movies You Cannot Miss

Israel isn’t just about delicious street food, or amazing people you’ll meet on your next visit to the country, or the breathtaking romantic places you can go on a date. Israel is way more than that! Israel is culture, arts, performance, music, dancing and cinema.

Indeed, today we want to talk to you about Israel and cinema. In this blog post, we are going to show you 4 of the latest Israeli movies that are rocking the world. Some of these titles have won international festivals and have received important awards in the industry. If you were looking for great Israeli movies or documentaries to watch in order to improve your Hebrew and to better understand Israeli society, then you just got lucky…

Take a look at these great demonstrations of Israeli culture and start swimming deeper into Israeli society through its movies, characters and scripts. Ready? Action!

Army, love, religion, women’s rights at work and transgender people in Israel: Some of the latest Israeli movies you have to watch

The subjects of the Israeli movies we are presenting here today are very unique, one is not even slightly similar to the other one, but each one of them shows an important part of Israeli society. Each one of these movies will be a window for you to watch and understand a tiny, or big, segment of the Israeli people.

Love stories between secular and religious Israelis, struggling in the army, a successful woman in the workplace, and a transgender family in the north of Israel are only the big picture. What’s important here are these people’s stories and the message they want you to hear.

Is the popcorn ready? Well, if not… go make some and come back, because you’ll want to start watching at least one of these movies as soon as you finish reading this entire article (because you will, right?).

Zero Motivation

Directed by Talya Lavie, this film won 2 awards at the Tribeca Film Festival and with 6 awards (out of 12 nominations) at the Ophir Awards (which are the Israeli Oscars). This was the most successful Israeli film of 2014, and people are still watching it through online streaming platforms.

The movie is about 3 girls in their mandatory army service, on a military base located in the middle of the desert and with a very special soldier role: Filing, paperwork, and doing “office stuff”.  All of this, until they get released from the army… or at least, from that specific base.

The issues with their commander, the everyday problems on the base, their willingness to do something more significant, and even a little bit of love makes this comedy extremely relevant to all of those who have gone through the Israeli army, and it allows those who haven’t, to better understand the mentality of the soldiers, and somehow, of the entire Israeli society.

If you want to laugh with the stories of Daffi, Zohar, Tehila, Rama and Liat… watch this movie now!

PS: If you are planning to learn the Israeli army slang, this is also an amazing opportunity to do so!

The Other Story

What would happen if someone who’s secular fell in love with someone religious? Or, what would happen if a secular couple decided to become Orthodox and get married? What are the conflicts their families would have, and how would they show their support or their rejection…? These are the main conflicts of this amazing movie directed by Avi Nesher, with the music of Nathan Goshen.

This film was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival earning more than just the applause and admiration of the public.

In this movie, a father who has been living abroad for too many years while he makes a successful career as a psychologist comes back to Israel to try and stop his daughter from getting married to an orthodox man who is an ex-drug addict. On this journey, he connects again with his ex-wife, with his own father, and with a daughter who is facing one of the most important decisions of her life.

All of this, while he tries to help a young couple with a kid in a couples’ therapy he is doing in Israel. A sect? Violence? Kidnapping? Yes, all of the above.

This great movie shows a reality in Israeli society. There’s a division between secular and religious people. Will love and fatherhood go beyond this? Well, you’ll need to watch this extraordinary Israeli film.

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Working Woman

This great film from 2018 directed by Michal Aviad, was screened at the Contemporary World Cinema section during the Toronto International Film Festival last year.

The movie tells the story of Orna, an empowered woman. As the director herself describes the film and the story, “Her boss appreciates and promotes her while making inappropriate advances, her husband struggles to keep his new restaurant afloat, and Orna becomes the main breadwinner for their three children. When finally her world is shattered, she must pull herself together to fight, in her own way, for work and a sense of self-worth.”

This story becomes very relevant and explains the path many women are walking through, not only in Israel but in the entire world. It is a movie that could help many people out there realize what some women have to go through, just because of what they are: a woman.

Family in transition

This outstanding documentary directed by Ofir Trainin, and winner of the Best Israeli Documentary 2018, tells the story of a family in Nahariya. Its story begins with the moment the father suddenly decides to share and accomplish his secret desire to become a woman.

According to the Tel Aviv International Documentary Festival, “(…) Despite personal difficulties and many social stigmas the Israeli society brings to the table, the family members decide to stay together and support each other, believing that love will overcome all difficulties. (…)”

This great Israeli documentary shows us a reality that is taking place all over the globe but from the Israeli perspective. How can a society of both extremely religious people and secular citizens make these kinds of decisions? What is the process of legally changing from one gender to another? Watch this amazing film and allow yourself to be surprised.

Learn Hebrew today and understand a different language, and a different society

When learning a new language, you are not only practicing vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar. When learning Hebrew, you also get to understand Israeli society, the Israeli mindset, and even some everyday street jokes and slang.

Join one of our online and live Hebrew courses and you’ll both become an expert in this ancient, important language, and also will better enjoy the experience of watching these extraordinary films. Yalla! What are you waiting for?

About the author

Arie Elbelman R.Arie was born and raised in Chile, and immigrated to Israel in his early twenties. He wants to take an active role in the development of this young and smart country. Arie believes that the best way to shape our present and future is to live with more horizontal hierarchies, to smile a whole lot, and to always, always respect each other.

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