STRANGERS is a romantic drama expanded into a full-length feature film from the award-winning 2004 short film of the same title (2003).
The initial part of the movie is set in Berlin, Germany during the days of 2006 FIFA World Cup (June 09 – July 09), and the latter half is played in Paris, France.
It features Eyal Goldman (Liron Levo), a young Israeli from a kibbutz who arrives in Berlin to meet Carolla von Herleshousen, his ex-girlfriend he had not been in touch with for the past two years.
A mix up of backpacks in the Berlin Subway led to his acquaintance with Rana Sweid (Lubna Azabal). A Palestinian, hailing from Ramallah, Rana is an expat living in Paris. She had arrived in Berlin to cheer the French team in the World Cup Finals.
As it turned out, Eyal decided to stop contacting Carolla and let the matters rest as they stand, since all his calls were unanswered.
Now that he and Rana shared the same criteria as strangers in Berlin, she suggested that he accompany her while she looks for somewhere to stay. In the context of the World Cup finals, there appeared scarcity in availability of hotel rooms. However, going by Rana’s suggestion, they were able to locate an accommodation in the Turkish neighbourhood but ended up sharing it.
In spite of the fact that she’s from Ramallah originally and he entertained strong pro-Israeli feelings – sentiments which the continuous TV news-reports of bombing and deaths in their homelands never failed to dampen, those days they had spent together were times of sweetness and harmony so that an unlikely romance enflamed between them. They shared their common liking for poetry, drinks and football.
As the final match approached, their growing intimacy transcended their diverse cultures and developed to passionate carnal relationship.
No sooner the final match on July 09 was over in which Italy defeated France 5-3 in a penalty shootout at the Olympiastadion Berlin, Rana was summoned back to Paris. However, before she left, she forbid him to contact her in Paris. She does not wish that they should see each other again and reasoned that their relationship will not work.
Shortly, Rana’s departure was troubling Eyal. He missed her terribly. When all his efforts to reach her over phone turned futile, he decided to hop over to Paris. It was then that the second Lebanon War (July 12 – August 14, 2006) broke out….
Title: STRANGERS – aka: İki Yabancı,
Color, 2007, Israel/France – Language: Hebrew & English
Directed and Written by: Guy Nattiv & Erez Tadmor
Cinematography: Ram Shweky – Music: Eyal Leon Katzav
Film Editor: Yuval Orr – Make up: Nimrod Asheri
Main Theme: One More Word – Vocals: Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
Cast: Liron Levo, Lubna Azabal, Abdallah El Akal, Birol Ünel, Clémence Thioly, Patrick Albenque, Dominique Lollia, Mila Dekker, Stephane Pouillot
Participant of numerous Film Festivals and Screenings (Sundance, Jerusalem, Taipei, Sao Paulo, Palm Springs, Melbourne, Rome, Caracas, UK, etc.,) “Strangers” by Israeli filmmakers Guy Nattiv and Erez Tadmor, focus on a no-nonsense love story, beautifully acted by Liron Levo and Lubna Azabal.
- The movie referred to in this is available with some leading DVD/BluRay dealers.
- Image credits: imdb and from the movie.
- This illustrated article is an affectionate nosegay to the movie reviewed above. Please refer to “About” of my webpage for more details.
- This is in memory of John Power Barrington Simeon.
(© Joseph Sébastine/Manningtree Archive)