New film updates Book of Genesis story with classical musicians in Jerusalem

Posted on: April 20, 2017

“The JFilm Festival [in Pittsburgh] is now in its 24th annual season of presenting international movies that celebrate Jewish culture and tolerance,” writes Barry Paris in Wednesday’s (4/19) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “But ‘Harmonia,’ the film that opens the 11-day festival Thursday night … is a celebratory event in itself. You can’t go much further or deeper than the Book of Genesis, from which ‘Harmonia’ takes its powerful material: a love triangle, tangled up in the roots of ancient conflict between two peoples living in contemporary Jerusalem…. Sarah (Tali Sharon), a harpist in the Jerusalem Philharmonic Orchestra, is married to Abraham (Alon Aboutboul), its charismatic conductor. They are childless. … Hagar (Yana Yossef), a young French hornist from East Jerusalem, auditions for a position with the orchestra…. She’s good, and he hires her… Hagar offers to have a baby for them…. Twelve years later, we find young Ben as a phenomenal but wildly uncontrollable pianist … even as Sarah in her 40s gets suddenly pregnant and gives birth to Isaac… Director-writer Ori Sivan’s reimagining of a tale of two mothers and half-brothers challenges yet somehow reaffirms the original, with a glorious musical backdrop: Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn and, above all, the François Boieldieu harp concerto.” 

Posted April 20, 2017