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Jerry Cutler On Film—‘Shelter,’ An Israeli Thriller, Deftly Combines Intrigue, Heartbreak, Love and Romance

Posted: Monday, April 9, 2018 – 3:47 PM

Intrigue, heartbreak, love, romance – all those ingredients are deftly interwoven into director’s Eran Riklis’ latest psychological thriller, Shelter.

The movie stars Lior Askenazi, Israel’s perennial movie star (and deservedly so), Neta Riskin and Golshifte Ferahani, the latter two carrying the bulk of the drama.

Naomi (Riskin) a member of Mossad is assigned to guard Mona (Ferahani), a Lebanese spy who has defected to the Israelis. They are hidden at a safe house in Hamburg, Germany with the Hezbollah on their trail.

Getting to know each other, the two women share their emotional scars stemming from longstanding mistrust and misunderstanding. Sworn enemies, Naomi and Mona eventually open their hearts to each other. Naomi tells Mona of her husband’s demise while taking a bullet meant for her; and Mona relates her misfortune of having an affair with a man who leaves her, taking their son. Naomi promises that whatever transpires, she will find Mona’s child.

To bring some levity in their cloistered life, they play act as if going to a bar and dress up with wigs and clothing left in the apartment and apply makeup to each other. It’s a moment of levity and true kinship as, for those few moments, they feel and look like two giddy friends ready to party and not two desperate women fearing for their lives.

The climax is explosive as Riklis moves his cameras into the safe house for a fierce confrontation between the Hezbollah and Israeli soldiers. I won’t expose the ending. Suffice it to say that Shelter carves another notch in Israel’s film industry releases.

3 bagels out of 4

“Shelter” is now showing at the Ahrua Fine Arts Theatre, 8556 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Jerry Cutler, the Courier’s film critic, is rabbi at Creative Arts Temple

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