The Unorthodox, is a comic drama directed by Eliran Malka. The story follows Yakov Cohen an honest, simple religious man who decides to do something big. When Yakov Cohen’s daughter is expelled from school for ethnic reasons, he decides to fight back.YaKov feels he can o longer hold back against the discrimination he feels as a Sephardi and together with two friends establishes the first ethnic political group in Jerusalem. With no political experience, connections or money, but with allot of passion and love the move succeeds. His motive is pure and convincing but political influencers and dealers soon start to meddle. Yakov's world changes quickly yet, he soon loses his position within the party and goes home. His daughter Heli explains it best, the world has changed but you haven’t.
Today, the Sfarad’s Guards political party– is an empire, an institution, even a brand with significant implications to society. Yaakov Cohen is still working at his printing house in the heart of Jerusalem city.
Based on a real story.
Cast: Shuli Rand, Yaacov Cohen, Golan Azulai
This is Eliran Malka's first feature film.
From the Directors Statement: The film is based in Jerusalem of the 1980's. In those days orthodox Sephardic Jew (immigrants from the Arab countries) tried unsuccessfully to assimilate into) Ashkenazi Jew (immigrants from Russia and Europe) institutions. Even when they were the majority, The Sephardic's, were considered second-rate. It wasn’t even discrimination – just the basic assumption. This film is a street movie, like his heroes it’s dynamic and practically hyperactive, with a voice-over supplying us with a bridge into a world we can no longer see: a crowded, warm Sephardic world, with not the suit-wearing type's characters you used to see running for elections. Yaakov operation is characteristic of the people he presented: informal, with love for their fellow man, a great sense of humor, and a whole lot of rage. The film raises questions about the real core of the political game, about religion coercion and about the DNA of Sephardic Jews and their inability to truly assimilate into Israeli “Western” society without losing.
Production: Dori Media Group
The premier screening will open the Jerusalem film festival and will take place on July 26.