Robby Elmaliah | Israel 2014 | 73 Min. | OmeU
This film exposes the challenges of immigration in this touching film in which we follow a family that moves to Israel from the Tunisian Island of Djerba in 2006. Even though the community to which they arrive seems like the most natural place for them to set up their new home, tensions soon arise between the wider community and the Uzan family and within the family itself. The father, who was used to being in charge in the Old Country, soon finds that in Israel he is bewildered and often disconnected. His sons want to honor their father, but are also swayed by the new society they encounter in Israel. Their mother in turn is more confident in her ways, but at the same time puzzled by the antagonism of their new community. The younger generation wants to integrate into its new surrounding while their father feels that his honor is lost. The realities of this new country are at odds with his desire to earn an honest living. Beautifully shot, The Unwelcoming poses questions about loyalty and place. The stark reality of the land, along with the blunt ways of their new surroundings, forces the Uzan family to take stock of their choices and beliefs. Leaving Tunisia was an obvious choice for Jews in the 21stcentury, but the reality that confronts them upon arrival in Israel is confusing and forces them to examine themselves in ways that they had not intended.