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Film Reviews


A Quiet Desperation: Characters long for connection in “Ha’har.”

Updated: Oct 17, 2018

Tzvia (Shani Klein) is a soft-spoken, pleasant woman who lives with her husband and four children next to a cemetery atop the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. It is not a very fulfilled life that she lives.

It is a point of embarrassment that they, an Orthodox Jewish family, live so close to the cemetery, but Tzvia’s husband, Reuven (Avshalom Polak), who spends the majority of his time away at work, doesn’t seem too concerned.

He comes home late most nights to eat dinner and sleep—and sometimes not even that—leaving Tzvia with little adult contact except the connections she seeks on the mountain. Every day, she sends her children off to school and bides the time until they come home by meandering through the cemetery, occasionally stopping to talk to the gravedigger, Abed (Hitham Omari), a concerning prospect, since he is a man and not of the Jewish faith.

As Tzvia begins to realize how lonely she is, she ventures out into the cemetery... keep reading on the burg!

“Ha’har” plays as a part of the Edward S. Finkelstein Harrisburg Jewish Film Festival at Midtown Cinema, 250 Reily St., Harrisburg, May 10 to 17. For more information, visit

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