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Alila Film.tif
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Amos Gitai
Produced by Alain Mamou-Mani
Written by Amos Gitai
Yehoshua Kenaz (novel)
Starring Yael Abecassis
Hanna Laslo
Uri Klauzner
Ronit Elkabetz
Music by Pri ganech
Cinematography Renato Berta
Edited by Monica Coleman
Kobi Netanel
Release date
  • 12 September 2003 (2003-09-12)
Running time
122 min
Country Israel
Language Hebrew

Alila is a 2003 Israeli film directed by Amos Gitai and starring Yaël Abecassis, Uri Klauzner, and Hanna Laslo. The drama follows half a dozen very different characters through their lives in modern-day Israel, giving Gitai an opportunity to comment on his country's top social issues.

The film received mixed reviews. Newsday called it, "sexy, colorful, courageous and boldly entertaining," and the Village Voice called the director "Israel's one man new wave"; Stephen Holden of the New York Times stated: "There really isn't a likable character in the movie, which opens today in Manhattan. The filmmaker's jaundiced view of humanity is matched by his eye for the ugly".[1]


Instead of written credits at the beginning of the film, Gitai reads out the credits, introduces himself to the viewer, and explains that Alila is based on the novel Returning Lost Love. The rest of the movie is made up of forty individual single shot scenes depicting the lives of several Israelis. The character's lives overlap and collide. Gabi, a bobbed haired sexpot, and her lover Hezi—who is older, balding and married—rent a room to have an affair, while Ezra, a pot bellied divorcee, supervises an illegal construction site next door. All this racket drives Schwartz, a Holocaust survivor, to a mental breakdown. Other characters include illegal immigrants, a teenage boy who's afraid to serve in the army, and a corrupt police officer. In each scene the camera moves through walls, over desks, and around rooms in order to keep focused on the character it is following, in moments of drama as well as in moments of mudane daily activity.


  • Yael Abecassis - Gabi
  • Hanna Laslo - Mali
  • Ronit Elkabetz - Ronit
  • Uri Klauzner - Ezra
  • Amos Lavi - Hezi
  • Lupo Berkowitch - Aviram
  • Liron Levo - Ilan
  • Yosef Carmon - Schwartz
  • Amit Mestechkin - Eyal
  • Lyn Hsiao Zamir - Linda
  • Tomer Russo - Officer
  • Carmel Betto - Carmel
  • Dalit Kahan - Sharon
  • Kobi Zahavi - Kiosk owner
  • Eyal Elhadad - Locksmith


Alila received mostly mixed reviews, with a score of 57 on Metacritic and a 41% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[2][3] The film is said to have an "Altman-esque fabric" and a "Kiarostamian spirit"[4]

Some reviewers point to the film's political tone and social commentary about modern Israel. One reviewer goes so far as to compare Gitai to Michael Moore.[5] It's assumed that Gitai's film will resonate most with Israelis, but offer outsiders an intimate look at the nation.

Many reviews also comment on the sense of chaos in Gitai's film. Noisy people, their excitement and clamor, and the hop scotch from one story line to another creates a bustle in the film that's consistent throughout. Lewis Beale, of Film Journal International, writes, "It's a very Mediterranean atmosphere, in which everyone seems to love hard, hate with intensity and speak at the top of their lungs."[6] This chaos, however, was not to all reviewers tastes. Peter Howell, of the Toronto Star simply stated that "It's a bit of a mess".[3]


  • Alila was nominated for two awards from the Israeli Film Academy in 2003:

Best Costume Design-- Laura Dinolesko Best Supporting Actress-- Hana Laszlo

Golden Spike-- director Amos Gitai

Golden Lion—director Amos Gitai


  1. ^ Holden, Stephen (2004-02-27). "FILM IN REVIEW; 'Alila'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-01-03. 
  2. ^ "Alila Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. 2004-02-27. Retrieved 2011-08-02. 
  3. ^ a b "Alila". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-08-02. 
  4. ^ Atkinson, Michael (2004-02-17). "Alila". Village Voice. Archived from the original on 2008-09-15. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  5. ^ Kirkland, Bruce (2004-06-30). "Chaos in the heart of Tel Aviv". Jam! showbiz. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  6. ^ Beale, Lewis (2005). "Alila". Film Journal International. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 

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