For writer-director Eytan Fox (Yossi & Jagger of Tribeca Film Festival 2003, Walk on Water), the hip neighborhood of Tel Aviv's Sheikin Street is like a bubble-a slacker paradise within a European-built city relatively sheltered from violence. For three roommates-record store clerk Noam (Ohad Knoller, star of Yossi & Jagger and Best Actor, Tribeca Film Festival 2003); shop girl and aspiring screenwriter Lulu (Daniela Wircer); and restaurant manager and aspiring fashion designer Yelli (Alon Friedman), who never wants to leave Tel Aviv; it's where twenty- somethings watch Israeli Idol, debate the merits of George Michael vs. Morrissey, and throw a “Rave Against the Occupation,” which is really an excuse to take Ecstasy and dance on the beach. When Noam meets a young Palestinian man named Ashraf (Yousef Sweid) at a checkpoint on the Israeli-Palestinian border, it isn't long before the two start a passionate affair. Ashraf, whose sister is marrying a Hamas soldier named Jihad (Shredi Jabarin), and who himself is already betrothed to his future brother-in-law's sister, soon moves in with the roommates under a Hebrew name, experiencing a life of sexual freedom unimaginable in the Arab world-where there isn't even a phrase for “out of the closet.” Wearing hipster t-shirts, listening to Tim Buckley, and holding hands with Noam as they take in Walk on Water star Lior Ashkenazi in a production of Bent, Ashraf seems carefree…until the bubble bursts. Fox and co-screenwriter Gal Uchovsky intelligently spin this new-age Romeo and Juliet story that poses the question: can true love bridge irreconcilable differences?
EYTAN FOX'S Walk on Water (2004), about a Mossad secret service agent who befriends the gay grandson of an ex-Nazi officer, debuted in over 25 countries, making it the most successful Israeli film abroad. Both Walk on Water and Yossi & Jagger (2002), the international breakout hit chronicling a love affair between two officers in the Israeli army, have since achieved cult status. Born in New York City, Fox moved with his family to Israel and grew up in Jerusalem. He later studied at Tel Aviv University's School of Film and Television. The acclaim of Time Off, his 45-minute drama about sexual identity in the Israeli army, led to his first feature, Song of the Siren, which became Israel's biggest box office success in 1994. Fox also created and directed Florentine, an Israeli TV drama series depicting young people in Tel Aviv before and after the Rabin assassination.