MJFF – Seven Blessings
In Israel’s official entry for the Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film, Ayelet Menahemi’s 7 Blessings revolves around an eventful Jewish Moroccan family wedding and the traditional blessings that are pronounced during the ceremony, again at the reception, and then again for the next seven nights with loved ones hosting special dinners in the couple’s honor. Behind the facade of joie de vivre and togetherness, there are secrets, lies, and a painful old wound that forces them to confront the past while wrecking the present, all entwined in this acclaimed story about fury, forgiveness, and food. Added to the mix is a joyous comedy of errors and misinterpretation by numerous members of the family speaking multiple languages, spanning Hebrew, Arabic, French, and the French Moroccan dialect. 7 Blessings won big at this year’s Israel Academy Awards (Ophirs), sweeping the awards ceremony by taking home the Best Picture Award and triumphing in nine additional categories, including Best Director, Best Script, and Best Actress for Reymonde Amsallem, who co-wrote the screenplay.