Film: Noodle

Jewish Film Festival 2009

“The art of film reflects our dreams and reality, and elevates the spirit of our shared humanity.” Victor Chaltiel

The eighth annual Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival screened thirteen films at three locations from January 17th 2009 through to the 31st (as last minute provisions were made to accommodate the Super Bowl!). Unique to this years event is the representation from many congregations and all denominations. Based on the opening remarks by moderator Ellis Landau, promoters were able to screen several films and choose the one that they wanted to sponsor.

Because I am presently reading a WWII holocaust novel (and coincidently the one I finished last week was too!) I didn’t have any desire to see a war film. I invited my friend J to come with me and the date that suited us both fell on the night of the screening of Noodle, presented by the Anti-Defamation League.
It is written and directed by Ayelet Menahemi and written by Shemi Zarhin.

The blurb on the pamphlet describes the film in these words:

“Miri’s life has been crumbling around her for years. She wants nothing more than to be left alone, but things change when her Chinese housekeeper asks Miri to watch her son for an hour and never comes back. Miri tries to reunite the boy she dubs ‘Noodle’ with his mother and, in the process, learns about the importance of family and emotional healing.”

This film takes place in modern Israel. The English subtitled film was partly in colloquial Hebrew and in Mandarin, using many slang words making it difficult for non-native speakers to follow audibly.

The actors are all excellent and do a fantastic job of representing human relationships. This film explores the soft moments and the painful moments between husband and wife; mother and daughter; mother and son; sisters; and secret paramour. The most poignant relationship is that between Miri a thirty-seven year old, twice widowed, childless woman and a little Chinese boy. The sadness of both these characters is palpable. BaoQi Chen does an excellent job in this film and dominates virtually all of his scenes.

The feedback post screening seems to indicate that this American Jewish audience enjoyed the stories and acting in the film. We discussed the issue of illegal immigration in Israel which is a fairly new problem for this fairly new nation. Because Israel has had to adapt to the constant threat of terrorism, cheap labor is being imported from mostly Asian countries. In veracious Israeli spirit The Jerusalem Post’s Hannah Brown, gives Noodle a ‘smack down shut out’.
Her article: Limp ‘Noodle’ Has Little Flavor, gives away so much of the film that Menahemi and Zarhin should credit her for the CliffsNotes version.

For Hannah Brown’s article go to:
For the TJP:

An excellent article by Alon Hadar titled Finding The ‘Noodle’ Boy describes how they cast the role of ‘Noodle’ and describes an obviously talented child actor BaoQi Chen.
And for Alon Hadar’s article go to:
For Haaretz Daily Newspaper:

To Read another blog review:
For the Israeli “Noodle” Movie : A journey to take a Chinese kid to Beijing

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