A Tale of Love and Darkness
Castro TheatreSat, Jul 23, 2016 8:50 PM Not Available
Film Info
Director(s):Natalie Portman
Editor(s):Hervé Schneid
Andrew Mondshein
Principal Cast:Makram Khoury
Shira Haas
Cinematographer:Slawomir Idziak
Screenwriter(s):Natalie Portman
Year of Production:2015
Running Time:98 min.
Language(s):Hebrew w/ English subtitles
Genre-Subject:Israelis & Arabs
Family Relationships
Literature & Adaptations
Co-Sponsored by Linda and Frank Kurtz and by Sasha and Irina Kovriga.

Natalie Portman makes her directorial feature debut with an adaptation of Amos Oz’s internationally acclaimed autobiographical novel A Tale of Love and Darkness, first published in Hebrew in 2002. It has since been translated into 28 languages and has sold more than a million copies worldwide. Determined to make the film in Hebrew, Portman took eight years to write the script and find funding, during which time she also worked meticulously to erase any hint of an American accent from her Hebrew in order to portray Amos’s Eastern European mother. The story is set in Jerusalem during the birth of Israel and its aftermath. However, the film avoids relying solely on its historical framework to create a dramatic premise. At its core, Amos’s story is about his relationship with his tragic, complicated mother and her eventual suicide. Taking cues from the novel, Portman’s entrancing Fania Oz suffers from a burden of her experiences as a woman that resonates throughout the greater historical narrative being woven around her. She is a woman who saw horror and salvation, only to leave both behind. The film is an important contribution to a constantly unfolding story that tends to regard its people as symbols of a collective identity. Portman’s adaptation is a beautiful dissent. —Neha Talreja