About The Film
An unbearably isolated Orthodox woman escapes her troubles by turning to the lewd nocturnal life inside an ancient Jerusalem cemetery in MOUNTAIN, the accomplished debut feature of writer-director Yaelle Kayam.
In a mesmerizing breakout performance, Shani Klein portrays the devout but internally unsettled Tzvia, wife to uptight Yeshiva teacher Reuven (Avshalom Pollak) and mother of four, who struggles for attention and spends her day handling the mundane chores of their remote stone home atop the Mount of Olives. The adjacent Jewish cemetery provides the only solace, as Tzvia wanders among the graves, chatting with tourists, partaking in interments, and self-consciously befriending a Palestinian groundskeeper (Haitham Ibrahem Omari). One night, after being spurned again by her self-absorbed husband, she enters the cemetery and is exposed to an unsettling scene of pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers. Shocked but curiously drawn to the forbidden encounter, Tzvia’s loneliness and spiritual predicament reach their apex in a startling climactic denouement.
In her restrained portrayal of an enigmatic woman figuratively entombed by her existence, Klein engenders enormous sympathy, while the rhythms of the screenplay continually upend expectations.