Walk on Water, directed by New York-born Israeli director Eytan Fox, was shown this week in Yangon, telling a story about how Israelis handle their complex emotions towards Germans following World War II and are able to move on.
This was the closing day film of Fourth Israeli Film Festival held by the Israeli Embassy, which ran from December 11 to 13 at JCGV Square Cinema in Yangon, aiming to show a Myanmar audience routine life and the diversity of society in Israel.
The message of the film may resonate in Myanmar, given the divisiveness caused by conflicts in the ethnic states and the often bitter racial and religious differences.
In the film, Eyal, an Israeli agent, has been asked to track down and kill a very old ex-Nazi officer by his boss. Pretending to be a tourist guide in Israel for the ex-Nazi officer's grandson Axel, his values are challenged. And finally, his original hatred towards Germans is replaced by forgiveness and he marries Axel's sister.
The film spreads a core message that people should give up their hatred and discrimination and move on to have a good life. Eyal, a Jew, used to have a negative towards the world and was hostile to Germans because of what they did to Jews in World War II and the legacy of the Holocaust.
In the seashore of the Sea of Galilee, Eyal was enlightened by Axel after the latter taught him to walk on water with a purified and innocent heart without bad thoughts and negativity. And in the last shot of the film, Eyal succeeded in walking on water with Axel.
Myanmar has a diverse society as Israel does. People in Myanmar have different religious belief and different cultural background. In Yangon, Christian, Buddhist and Hindu lived in harmony in many communities.
The film showed normal life in Israel, including making light of suicide bombing conducted by the HAMAS group, an ever-present threat. Eyal makes a joke of suicide bombing when Axel arrives at an Israeli airport, hinting at how Israelis cope with the stress.
Besides Walk On Water, other films were shown including Someone to Run With, Schwartz Dynasty, The Matchmaker, and Bruno's in Love during the festival.