Autumn 2008 Edge series
Sunday, November 30, 2008 at 4:00pm
Sunday, November 30, 2008 at 7:00pm
Directed by Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen
Screenplay by Shira Geffen
Starring Sarah Adler, Nikol Leidman, Gera Sandler, Noa Knoller, and Ma-nenita De Latorre
Rated PG ·
France / Israel
Hebrew, English, Tagalog, and German
Winner of the Camera d’Or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, Jellyfish is a moving film that follows the travails of three women in modern-day Tel Aviv.
Batya is struggling to make ends meet, living in an apartment with a leaky ceiling and working for a wedding caterer, where she gets to serve happy people gathered together to celebrate the institution of marriage. One day on the beach, she sees a little redhaired girl suddenly walk out of the ocean, and Batya decides to look after the silent child when the police won’t help find her parents.
Keren is a young woman who has just gotten married to Michael, but she breaks her leg at the reception after being stuck in the bathroom, forcing them to cancel their Caribbean vacation and instead spend their honeymoon at an Israeli seaside hotel, where her husband starts becoming friendly with an older woman in the top-floor suite.
And Joy is a Filipino guest worker who has come to Tel Aviv seeking employment as a caregiver to make money to send back to her son in the Philippines. Although she intended to take care of babies, she is instead assigned to elderly women, one of whom dies immediately and another who is bullheaded and outwardly nasty to her.
As the three protagonists try to make their way in the world, their lives intersect in unusual and fascinating ways. Jellyfish, directed by real-life partners and writers Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen and written by Geffen, is a touching, compelling drama about troubled families, parents and children, and loneliness. Instead of making any grand statements, it focuses on the little things in life that can make the difference between being happy and being miserable, keeping hope within grasp. Keret and Geffen, who also play small parts in the film, use water as a metaphor throughout the story: just as every ocean has its jellyfish, life can often sting, but it also can be beautiful.