Lina Raso September 11, 2008

Screening times

Melbourne ACMI Fed Square
9th November – 5:00pm
Sydney GU Bondi Junction Cinemas
16th November – 5:00pm
If you thought smartly written and superbly acted television dramas were the provenance of the British, think again.
A Touch Away takes a slice of contemporary Tel Aviv life and spins a marvellous multi-family drama that will leave you glued to your seats and wanting to see more.
This wonderful series, produced for primetime television in Israel, broke ratings records when broadcast there. In this special presentation, the Festival is thrilled to bring you the Australian première of all eight episodes, screening in two parts over one afternoon/evening.
The series focuses on two families whose lives intersect in an apartment complex in the Orthodox neighbourhood of Bnei Barak near Tel Aviv. The Bermans are a strictly religious Haredi family, whose daughter, Rochal’e, is about to enter into an arranged marriage with a wealthy young bridegroom and student at her uncle’s Yeshiva.
Enter the Mintzes, a newly arrived and thoroughly secular, cosmopolitan family from Russia, who take over a neighbouring apartment found for them by their son, Zorik, but are not quite sure where providence has brought them.
As the Russian mother, Marina, a vivacious actress, observes to her doctor husband, “You could stage The Dybbuk here without needing any props.”
From the sharply drawn situation, director Ron Ninio mercifully avoids the usual clichés and stereotypes to create a powerful, unfolding drama in which both families are pulled together by circumstances and also torn apart by the forbidden love that buds between Zorik and Rochal’e.
Grounded in rich and nuanced detail, A Touch Away never fails to entertain, as it effortlessly draws us into the world of each family without judgement or condescension, even when events challenge deeply rooted cultural assumptions and individual family members’ beliefs.

The series contains eight 35-minute episodes. Screenings will take place in two four-episode blocks (with an intermission in between), with one admission for the entire series.

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