My Treasure (Or)

on May 17, 2004 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
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It's easy to see why "My Treasure (Or)" won the Camera d'Or (for best first film) and the Critics Week Grand Prize at the 2004 Cannes film festival. It's the type of uncompromising, unsentimental film that naturally captures the attention of critics and juries. It's also a promising debut that showcases both the virtues and flaws that talented filmmakers often display their first time out.

Set in the run-down environs of Tel Aviv, "My Treasure" is centered around Or (Dana Ivgy), a troubled young girl, and Ruthie (Ronit Elkabetz), her prostitute mother. Or is doing her best to keep Ruthie off the streets but the older woman is inexorably drawn to that dangerous way of life.

Eschewing any traces of sentiment in favor of Cassevetes-like (but unindulgent) cinema verite, and brilliantly acted by its two leads, "My Treasure" is riveting, despite a final, obvious plot twist that doesn't ring true. Starring Ronit Elkabetz, Dana Ivgy and Meshar Cohen. Directed by Keren Yedaya. Written by Sari Ezouz and Keren Yedaya. Produced by Marek Rozenbaum, Itai Tamir, Emmanuel Agneray and Jerome Bleitrach. A Kino release. Drama. Hebrew-language; subtitled. Unrated. Running time: 100 min

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