In what could well be the first Israeli post-apocalyptic film, co-creators Ari Fulman and Ori Sivan have burdened "Saint Clara," adapted from a Yelena and Pavel Kohout novel, with one too many contrived subplots that suffocate an otherwise interesting premise. Set in 1999 yet looking very "Mad Max"-ish, this oddball teen angst treatise and magic realism wannabe presents an assortment of seventh graders attending dreary Golda Meir School. When an entire class scores perfectly on a math test, the authorities discover that a Russian immigrant girl named Clara (Lucy Dubinchek) has astonishing psychic powers that allow her to predict the correct answers. Beyond that, the tale is cluttered with rebellion, friendship, love, nuclear disaster, parents who seem certifiably insane, and a good three dozen other elements. In terms of casting, the kids outshine the rather bizarre adult players, most of whom appear to be drugged and/or inappropriately seductive with young people.
Starring Lucy Dubinchek, Halil Eohev, Johnny Peterson and Maya Meron
Directed and written by Ari Fulman and Ori Sivan
Produced by Marek Rozenbaum and Yuri Sabag
A Kino release. SF.
Hebrew-language; English subtitles.
Running time: 85 min
Screened at the Montreal Fest