Israeli directorial debut to be shot in Haredi neighborhood of capital, to the chagrin of its residents.
Ultra-Orthodox residents of Jerusalem are reportedly trying to forestall Hollywood star Natalie Portman from shooting scenes from her upcoming directorial debut in Israel’s capital, increasingly defined by its religious majority.
According to the Haaretz daily, Portman, is set to film in an ultra-Orthodox part of the Nahlaot neighborhood. While she coordinated the shoot with the Jerusalem Municipality, officials apparently failed to inform the residents, who wrote a letter complaining that the filming will take place near synagogues and yeshivot.
Portman, who was born in Jerusalem as Natalie Hershlag and carries dual American and Israeli citizenship, is planning to film the movie in Hebrew based on her own screenplay.
The Jerusalem Film and Television Fund announced approved 1.6 million shekels to support the film, the highest amount it has ever pledged for a single movie.
“A Tale of Love and Darkness” is an American-Israeli co-production. The official synopsis of the movie plot describes it as a “movie adaptation of Amos Oz’s autobiography, which takes place in Jerusalem in the second half of the 1940s and focuses on the author’s childhood in light of his mother’s mental illness and his father’s helplessness; in the context of the historic events of the period.” Portman is expected to play the author’s mother.
Portman took graduate courses at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the spring of 2004.
She was awarded with the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2011 for her title role in the psychological thriller “Black Swan”. Portman previously directed the short film “Eve” and a segment of the anthology film “New York, I Love You.”
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