Film Review: ‘The Other Story’

Variety | 6/28/2019 | Alissa Simon
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Family disputes and conspiracies take center stage in “The Other Story,” veteran helmer Avi Nesher’s lively drama exploring a hot button issue: the divide between Israel’s secular Jews and the ultra-Orthodox. The fluid narrative plays out against the backdrop of a Jerusalem riven by multiple conflicts as two dysfunctional families separately arrive at an understanding of what is important in life and are ultimately able to dial back their desire to deal in inflexible absolutes. Like Nesher’s other features of the past decade (“Past Life,” “The Wonders” and “The Matchmaker”) this smartly cast and smoothly directed drama involves an investigation. It’s a neat script ploy that allows loyalties to shift, revelations to surface and hidden agendas to appear, while keeping the action pacey and the audience guessing. After breaking box office records in Israel, Nesher’s entertaining 18th film will start its theatrical rollout on both coasts through Strand Releasing.

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Film Review: 'The Other Story'

Actually, “The Other Story” boasts multiple investigations. The first centers on attempts by the proudly secular older generations of the Abadi family to come up with some dirt on the self-righteous musician/yeshiva student Shacar (real-life pop star Nathan Goshen, who provides several original songs for the soundtrack), the newly-religious fiancé of Anat Abadi (Joy Rieger), so that their marriage won’t take place. Anat’s liberal, rational grandfather Shlomo (Sasson Gabai, “The Band’s Visit”), a counseling psychologist, snarkily dubs the bride-to-be “Her Holiness” and feels that her joining the ultra-Orthodox is a rejection of his values. So, too, does her divorced, real-estate-agent mother Tali (Maya Dagan, “The Matchmaker), who also fears that Anat will soon have numerous children that religious laws will prevent her from seeing. Shlomo and Tali insist that Anat’s father Yonatan (the handsome Yuval Segal, “Fauda”), also a psychologist, return from the...
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