Holy Lands

Certificate 15


(2017) 100 mins

Director: Amanda Sthers
Writer: Amanda Sthers
Cinematography: Regis Blondeau
Production Design: Françoise Joset
Music: Grégoire Hetzel



Facing a crossroads in life, Harry Rosenmerck (James Caan) leaves New York and his family with an unlikely plan to start a pig farm in Nazareth, causing the anger of local communities. His conflict with the town Rabbi, Moshe Cattan (Tom Hollander) slowly turns into a friendship that leads him to reevaluate his relationship with his estranged family, including his difficult ex-wife (Rosanna Arquette), his 34-year-old student daughter, and his playwright son David (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). Through an emotional journey, this dysfunctional group will try to make their way back to each other, renewing ties when they all need it the most.

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There is humor in the banter between Harry and Moshe, and between Harry and just about everyone else. His caustic wit is always ready. The timing in the dialogues between Harry and the rabbi, flows smoothly back and forth. The kindness Harry gave his little pet, was apparently not shown to his children as they were growing up. Caan goes back and forth between tenderness and gruffness smoothly. Who is going to make the first move to go past their emotional wall? Harry? His daughter? The rabbi? The cult leader? And will these moves be pleasant or not? You will be surprised. ”  The Phantom Tollbooth

Caan is really, really good as the retired doctor dealing with his problems by creating more of them. And Harry’s friendship with Hollander’s Moshe is the film’s highlight. I could have watched them take road trips together for the entire running time. And when Harry befriends one of his cute, little pigs, you see a subtle shift in his personality, which I think should have been explored in greater detail.”  Daily Film Fix

Sat 02 Nov Banham


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