TIFF 2015 Review: P.S. Jerusalem
P.S. Jerusalem is a moving depiction on one family’s attempts to adapt to a new way of living, in an environment fraught with turmoil.
The documentary chronicles three years in the life of filmmaker Danae Elon, her husband, and their two children, following their emigration from New York to their home country of Jerusalem, after the death of Danae’s father. Upon arrival, the family begins to reconnect with their culture and assimilate back into the customs of their past, at once providing an image of personal growth while also providing commentary on the changing landscape around them.
The struggle felt by each family member manages to provide an evocative sense of duress and challenge, especially in severe moments such as when a militia siren goes off at the children’s school, foregrounding the dangers of living in such an unstable area. A more direct example comes from the subtle changes felt by each family member, and their changing attitudes regarding their habitat over each ensuing year.
As it posits a staggering view of an area dealing with constant crisis, and the willingness to persevere against incredible odds, P.S. Jerusalem is a brave, unique examination of the bonds that hold us closely together against difficult odds.