THE BUBBLE (dir Eytan Fox, Israel, 2006) Set in Israel's second city, Tel Aviv, The Bubble is the third feature from US-born director Eytan Fox, who relocated to Israel with his family at the age of three. It tells the story of a trio of friends, Noam (Ohad Knoller, previously seen in Fox's superb Yossi and Jagger), Yali (Alon Friedman) and Lulu (Daniella Virtzer); their dramas in love; and their lives in a nation which lives under permanent threat of attack.
While serving as a guard at a military checkpoint, Noam briefly encounters Ashraf (Yousef "Joe" Sweid); after which he returns to Tel Aviv and his job as a sales assistant in a hip record store on bohemian Sheikin Street - think Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, King St, Newtown, or the equivilent faux-bohemian district in the city of your choice.
Soon, Ashraf resurfaces, and the two begin an intense relationship. Meanwhile, Lulu is dating a self-obsessed magazine editor, and Yali has begun dating an applicant for the waiter's position in the cafe he manages. Meanwhile, all three are involved with organising a 'rave for peace'; an inflamatory gesture in Israel, as one scene soon shows.
These characters could be seen as ignoring the conflict waged around them - but as Eytan Fox himself sees it, they live life in a bubble, "as a survival mechanism. It’s a system where they say ‘I will deal with this today, I won’t deal with this tomorrow’. In
This being a drama, however, none of the characters can ignore the outside world for long, and events all too quickly intrude upon their lives with drastic consequences.
I found some fault in this film - its pacing felt too rushed, with relationships hastily sketched out (but nonetheless believable thanks in part to some fine performances) and events in the final act seemed to occur to quickly to be truly believable. That said, The Bubble left me sobbing in the cinema, deeply moved by the events that occur towards the film's climax, and once again enamoured of Fox's storytelling skills.
THE BUBBLE: Three and a half stars