A Tramway in Jerusalem
The Light Rail Red Line of Jerusalem’s tramway connects the city from east to west, from the Palestinian neighborhoods of Shuafat and Beit Hanina to Mount Herzl—a journey that comprises the culturally complex makeup of the city. This humorous and touching film, whose cast includes Mathieu Amalric and Hana Laslo, hinges on a series of encounters along the line: simple, mundane interactions that reveal the diverse mosaic of humanity that exists in the spiritual center of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Beneath the clashes and grievances among its population that the world sees, Jerusalem is a city teeming with everyday life; the small conflicts and reconciliations depicted in A Tramway in Jerusalem offer a kernel of hope in a society torn by political strife.
- "It’s curious and no doubt significant that nobody ever seems to get off the tram that gives its name to A Tramway in Jerusalem, Amos Gitai’s free-wheeling set of sketches that never lose sight of his great theme, the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. This open-ended portrait of Israeli society brings an array of entertaining actors together to talk, sing, harass and comfort each other aboard a means of public transportation that becomes a homey metaphor for the state of the country."
- "The tenderness and respect the filmmaker holds for his subject matter can be seen in his perceptive and subtle use of camera angles. He uses every corner and plane of the tram carriage, the set barely recognisable from one scene to the other. The Israeli auteur utilises this to establish the tone of each shot. Sometimes, the speaker is seen as barely a slither, obstructed by someone else’s head, while at other moments, characters stand alone in a tramcar which, although full of passengers, seems eerily empty. Through this, the action can move from frightening to intimate to frustrating in a few seconds, a subtle and fitting representation of the everyday dramas of urban life."
Awards & Recognition
Venice Film Festival
New York Jewish Film Festival
Warsaw Film Festival
Tokyo Film Festival