Archive of films Tehilim / Tehilim

France / Israel
2007, 96 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2007

One day, middle-aged Eli, until now living a normal family life in Tel Aviv, disappears without trace on his way to work. His elder son Menachem is inclined towards his grandfather’s belief that the only hope they have in this situation is to pray. He fervently persuades his younger brother to join him in implementing their grandfather’s teachings about charity and the strength of prayer.


The name of this film refers to the psalms, songs, or meditations attributed to King David, who plays an important role in the Jewish faith; particularly among those staunchest of believers – such as old Shmuel. His son Eli is more lukewarm in his beliefs, but he still has a devoted adherent in his older grandson Menachem. When Eli leaves early one morning to go to work and mysteriously disappears after his car breaks down, Menachem is convinced that his grandfather is right in seeing the only hope in prayer. He pays no regard to the fact that his mother, a great deal less religious-minded, wants to come to terms with the shock in peace and refuses to pray together with her relatives each day. The adolescent boy listens so zealously to his grandfather’s theories and preaching about proper behaviour that with the help of his younger brother he begins putting the old man’s teachings on charity and the power of prayer into action, and is dumbfounded when it meets with incomprehension and even condemnation. A film about the different kinds of Judaism, from the militant, which readily has an answer to everything, through the tolerant, based more on the modern reality of life, to the secular attitude demonstrated by the mother.

About the director

Raphaël Nadjari (b. 1971, Marseilles) was originally an art student. In 1999 he moved to New York where he made his first film The Shade, a modernisation of Dostoyevsky’s short story A Gentle Creature. The film I Am Josh Polonski´s Brother (2001), shot in Super 8mm format, premiered in the section Forum of Young Cinema in Berlin. The director’s New York trilogy was topped off by the movie Apartment #5C (2002), again presented at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes. In 2003 Nadjari settled in Tel Aviv where he made the film Avaním (2003), which was screened in both Berlin and Karlovy Vary in 2004. His latest work, Tehilim, was invited to compete at the 60th Cannes Film Festival. Nadjari received the France Culture award for Best Director. He lives between Tel Aviv and Paris.


5 rue Nicolas Flamel, 75004, Paris
Tel: +33 153 103 399
Fax: +33 153 103 398

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Raphaël Nadjari
Screenplay: Raphaël Nadjari, Vincent Poymiro
Dir. of Photography: Laurent Brunet
Music: Nathaniel Mechaly
Editor: Sean Foley
Producer: Geoffroy Grison, Fren Bellaïche, Marek Rozenbaum, Itai Tamir
Production: Shilo Films (BVNG)
Cast: Michael Moshonov, Limor Goldstein, Yonathan Alster, Shmuel Vilojni
Contact: Playtime


Francois Yon

Buyer, Sales Agent


© 2020 FILM SERVIS FESTIVAL KARLOVY VARY, a.s. +420 221 411 011 All contacts

CinemasCinemas PartnersPartners
ProgramProgram About the projectAbout the project
HistoryHistory GalleryGallery
Festival DailyFestival Daily
HistoryHistory ContactsContacts
Archive of filmsArchive of films KVIFF TalksKVIFF Talks
Industry Days July 5 - July 8Industry Days July 5 - July 8 ContactsContacts
VideogalleryVideogallery GalleryGallery
HistoryHistory Festival GuideFestival Guide