One of the highlights of every annual Program Guide is Professor Matthew Bernstein’s* must-see films list. He painstakingly reviews a slew of films in each year's lineup, and 2016 has him as enthusiastic as ever.
We'll be featuring his picks, one-by-one. Of course, if you can't wait to see his entire write-up, make sure to grab your copy of the official Program Guide.
Avishai Sivan’s tale of a Yeshiva student gone wrong after a near-death experience is a disciplined, often silent and austere portrait of the agony of losing one’s faith. Beautifully composed, black-and-white widescreen shots frame Haim-Aaron (Aharon Traitel) and his butcher father who revives him (Palestinian veteran Khalifa Natour) as they both grow increasingly isolated from their friends, co-workers and family. “Danger is worse than transgression,” advises Haim’s father when urging him to take a shower at home (rather than at the mikvah) when Haim arrives home drenched from walking in a downpour and at risk of getting sick. But Haim undertakes both, and his father’s dreams of transgression and punishment grow increasingly surreal and disturbing in this spellbinding, sensual tale.
*Dr. Matthew Bernstein is the Goodrich C. White Professor of Film and Media Studies and department chair at Emory University.
Previous Must See Films of 2016