Family Expectations

Romantic relationships are central concerns in many lives both on and off screen. Too often they are impacted by parental expectations. However an even more sensitive area involves the painful emotional history experienced by those who either feel ignored or unloved by the ones responsible for their birth and nurture. And of course, the Jewish family is legendary in this respect, so it isn’t surprising that several of the presentations at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 32 deal with this theme.

While Restoration directed by Joseph Madmony, 2011 (Israel) primarily focuses on the dilemma of a man trying to hold onto a business after the death of a long-time business partner, the tension between him and his son plays a significant factor in the drama that unfolds.

The restoration of antiques is marginal in a city and country where new factory-made products dominate the market. Is there even a place for such an occupation in a modern world where even his own son distances himself from the past, in anticipation of a more lucrative future direction?

Gypsy Davy, a documentary directed by Rachel Leah Jones, 2011 (Israel, Spain) deals with a passionate musician whose romantic history is a trail of broken hearts involving five women and five children.

David Jones (aka David Serva) is a charming, handsome southern boy who quickly achieves fame in the 1970’s as a flamenco guitarist and all that comes with that traditional male role: drama, dislocation, and the predictable dissolute behavior.

The resolution sought by the director is illusive. The love-hate pattern continues to the present. There is little hope for positive change. But it’s a sad and fascinating portrait nonetheless.  I recognize the main character because I’ve known other tragic individuals like him.

Both films will be shown again at other Bay Area venues. For tickets and more information contact SFJFF.

copyright © 2012 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

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