SYNOPSISThe story of “Gei Oni” is an historical epic which interweaves the story of the first wave of Jewish European migration to Palestine, at the end of the 19th century, with an unusual love story between Fania, a young Russian immigrant, and Yechiel, a native Jew.
Seventeen-year-old Fania, her baby daughter, her elderly uncle, and her emotionally impaired brother arrive at the port of Jaffa, having survived a pogrom in which all other members of their family were killed. Having no real choice, Fania marries Yechiel, a widower whose wife died of malaria, leaving him to care for their two children himself. The two set out for a small settlement near Safed, where Yechiel and a few other daring settlers are trying to cultivate the barren lands which they bought from local Arabs. Fania is burdened by a harrowing secret she is unable to share with anyone else. But unless her husband Yechiel shares her secret, their marriage cannot be consummated.
2010 "Special Jury Prize" at Medias Film Festival in Rumania
2011 "The Best Foreign Film" by the audience at "The Golden Rooster – One Hundred Flower" Film Festival in He Fei China.
2011 Tamar Alkan, star of the film, was named "Best actress" of the year 2011 by the Israeli Film Critics.
2011 "The Gerhard klein Award" for best film at the Berlin Jewish Film Festival.
2011 "Best Film" at Strasbourg Jewish film festival.
“Wolman is the proclaimed troubadour of Israeli cinema. For over 40 years he has been making films differently as a unique, brave poet of cinema, forging his own personal way, pure and pristine in expression, in a rapidly changing world (…) one of the phenomena that give our cinema validity, morality and vitality. If our cinema matters to you… we need a lot more films by Dan Wolman.
A fine and complex script, impressive cinematography and assured directing. Four and a half stars
The best film in the (Official Jerusalem Festival) competition
Alkan delivers one of the greatest debut performances in the history of Israeli film (. ..) Vital, effervescent cinema that is full of love (… ) a precious and delicate jewel (…) a fine and even fun film. In short, do yourselves a favor and go see “Gei Oni”
I loved Gei Oni and was moved by it. It sits inside the landscape and myth of Israel like a spiny cactus it is special, jolting and devoted to the redemption of art from Kitsch, it is longing but realistic, it unfolds before your eyes, it is believable and sad and optimistic and pessimistic and it is the most beautiful love story I have seen in the last few years and the actors are in a reality they are unfamiliar with and it is as if they were born in it. Wolman does not run, he lets things happen quietly and wisely and the film aside from being a small masterpiece is the film of Tamar Alkan who came to us out of nowhere and I could not for one moment help but be moved by the beauty of her acting and her gentle strong power, she reminds me of the intensity of Jenia Dudina who I believe I was the first to champion. And Tamar is another thespian wonder, she makes a splendorous flower of a hard and potent wound and conjures from within powers sweeter than pain. I loved them all. And Dan Wolman has made us a little marvel, he made a low budget film with implied landscapes of the old Israel and created a primeval and miserable and touching film and I loved it heart and soul