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Directed by Amos Gitai, Alila is based on Yehoshua Kenaz's novel Returning Lost Love and chronicles the trials and tribulations of every day life in Tel Aviv. Most of the film revolves around an apartment block on the working-class borders of Tel Aviv, where the trysts of residents Hezi (Amos Lavie) and Gabi (Yael Abecassis) attract their neighbors' attention, as does the unauthorized construction of an additional wing to the building. A neighboring family patriarch, meanwhile, is dealing with legal troubles (he hired illegal Chinese construction workers), the AWOL status of his son,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 41%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's a bit of a mess."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"Though absorbing enough, Alila must be counted a noble failure, if only because its efforts to follow the screwed-up lives of 12 hapless souls in a seedy Tel Aviv apartment building finally add up more to mere mimicry than commentary."
‑ Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly
"Gitai delivers an amazing film every bit as satisfying as his masterpiece Kippur (2001)."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"For all its flaws, Alila is an interesting social issue film."
‑ Bruce Kirkland, Jam! Movies
"Extremely well-acted and generally absorbing."
‑ Lewis Beale, Film Journal International
"It's too acerbic to be funny and too detached to be really moving."
‑ Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
"None of the characters or situations truly manages to hold our attention, though there are some arresting moments."
‑ Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter
"Suggesting that the strain of the Arab conflict has gotten to the Israelis and that peace might only be a pipe dream."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"For non-Israeli audiences, Alila is an alternately illuminating and confounding glimpse into seldom-seen aspects of the country."
‑ Sheri Linden, Boxoffice Magazine
"Another piece of essential viewing for outsiders trying to understand life in the Middle East."
‑ , E! Online
"The story and even the characters turn out to be less interesting than the overview it gives us of the way Israelis live now, its portrait of a dislocated society where despair rumbles beneath the surface of everyday life."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"Gitai ... records the comings and goings with a keen eye."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"...Gitai has populated the story with one unlikable character after another, making it impossible for the viewer to connect with anything on screen."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"GitaÔ's portrait of self-destructive lives is certainly honest, but his direction is suffocating."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul
"An interesting, if not entirely successful, adaptation of an excellent book."
‑ Ken Fox, TV Guide's Movie Guide
More reviews for Alila on Rotten Tomatoes