AFI Fest: Staff Top 10 Most Anticipated Films

bethlehem_movie6. Bethlehem dir. Yuval Adler

Sanfur (Sahdi Marei), a young Palestinian, is only 15 when he is recruited as an informant by Shin Bet, the Israeli secret service. Sanfur’s militant older brother is on the Shin Bet’s most wanted list and Sanfur is the key to his capture, dead or alive. The fraternal bond between the brothers is strong, but as Sanfur struggles to live up to his brother’s prominence in the community, his Israeli recruiting officer, Razi (Tsahi Halevi), becomes the role model and confidante that is missing in Sanfur’s life. Identities and loyalties blur as the Shin Bet’s operations escalate and the stakes of betrayal rise. First-time director Yuval Adler worked in intelligence for the Israeli army, and co-wrote the taut script with Ali Waked, a Muslim journalist. BETHLEHEM is a tense thriller, but more importantly, it is ultimately a tragedy about two people on opposite sides of a political conflict whose loyalties map destinies greater than their own.