TIME OF FAVOR (Joseph Cedar) Rating: NNN
The winner of six Israeli Academy Awards, Time Of Favor is a political thriller that picks up speed as it goes along. A fundamentalist rabbi guides the lives of three yeshiva students -- part-time soldiers Menachem and Itamar and scholar Pini. When Pini and Menachem both fall in love with the rabbi's daughter, they reconsider their priorities, which leads one of them to take terrorist action. The American-born Cedar got a grant from the Israeli government to move to a West Bank settlement to research and write his film. That decision paid off. Time Of Favor conveys a sense of how complicated life is for Orthodox men and women trying to juggle personal freedom, religious edicts and political bliefs in a country swimming in violence. The last 30 minutes are surprisingly tense. 98 minutes.