Metallic Blues

From July ’07 Spotlight: Cinema/Chicago, in collaboration with the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest, will host one screening of Metallic Blues on Wednesday, August 1 in the Claudia Cassidy Theatre at the Chicago Cultural Center on Michigan and Randolph. The official start time is 7:30 PM and admission is free, but last year’s Israeli film (Something Sweet) sold out, so arrive early if you want to be sure of a seat.

Metallic Blues was a big box office hit when it was released in 2005. It was nominated for five Ophir Awards by the Israel Film Academy (including “Best Film” and “Best Screenplay”), and Moshe Ivgy received the “Best Supporting Actor” award.

“Shmuel” (Avi Kushnir) and “Siso” (Moshe Ivgy) work in a Tel Aviv auto repair shop. One day, out of nowhere, a Palestinian man arrives in a beautiful bright blue Lincoln Continental Towncar. His mother is ill, his family needs money, and, most of all, gasoline is much too expensive. Do they want to buy his car? Siso is wary but Shmuel thinks this is the opportunity of a lifetime; they buy the car.

Shmuel is a big bear of a man: he speaks English, honeymooned in Paris and Rome, and fancies himself a man of the world. Diminutive Siso has spent his whole life in Israel, speaks only Hebrew, and lives a far more religious life. They’re a mismatched duo right out of a classic comedy (think Laurel & Hardy and Abbott & Costello), but Shmuel comes from an Ashkenazi family whereas Siso’s family is Mizrachi. In Israel this doesn’t really matter much (at least not like it used to), but once they get to Germany, with plans to resell their prize to a vintage car dealer, the weight of history bears down on them.

There’s so much to discuss that a Q&A session has already been planned, and as soon as the credits roll, I’ll be hopping upfront to moderate. I’ve already seen Metallic Blues twice, so I hope you can make it: I’m eager to hear what you all think!

For more information, visit: www.chicagofilmfestival.org

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