Israeli film director Erez Tadmor is no stranger to the AJFF. Some of his previous films have been screened before, scoring high points with AJFF audiences. “Magic Men” explored a Holocaust survivor’s visit to his birthplace in Greece with his son, “A Matter of Size” dealt with obese Israelis and their embrace of sumo wrestling, and “Strangers” was the story of an Israeli Jewish man falling in love with a Muslim woman at the World Cup in Europe.
Here, Tadmor examines how infertility issues wreak havoc on a couple’s life, drawing closely from his own six-year fertility odyssey with his wife and making this his most personal endeavor to date. It is likely to be another AJFF audience favorite both for couples who can relate to the issues of infertility and those who cannot because it not only captures the difficulties and inconveniences of infertility but also explores the emotional toll infertility takes.
In an article in The Jerusalem Post last month, Tadmor said, “In Israel, you’re required to do three things: go to the Army, get married and have kids. And if you have a problem having kids, you feel like there’s something wrong with you, like you’ve done something wrong. I felt like, ‘I can’t have children, I’m a cripple.’ You feel like concealing it protects you. There are definitely feelings of shame. You keep it all inside, and you don’t really deal with it.”
Ironically, while many Israelis believe there is a stigma attached to having fertility treatments, a sizable number of Israelis undergo them because they are subsidized by the government and covered by health insurance (Indeed, some Jewish Americans make aliyah for the sole purpose of receiving free fertility treatment).
In our child-centric world there is an unspoken taboo associated with admitting that you are infertile. What’s so wonderful about this film is how it unabashedly confronts the subject matter and thereby manages to emotionally connect the audience with the protagonists. I cannot recommend this film enough.