The Arts

Israel's International Exposure – Yiftach Klein's Janana

Israel's International Exposure – Yiftach Klein's Janana featured image

reviewed by Paula Citron

Written and directed by Yiftach Klein
Starring Einat Weizmann and Shadi Srour
In Tel Aviv


A cultural mission to Israel presents theatre and dance filtered by the foreign office. Thus Janana is a revelation. The title means “flipout” in Arabic and refers to what playwright Yiftach Klein calls the crazyness of life in Israel. He based the play on his experiences as a soldier during the first intifada.

The grim subject looks at the after effects of an accidental shooting at a check-point. Klein heightens his message by casting Arab actor Shadi Srour as all the men, and Israeli actress Einat Weizmann as all the women.

During the Q&A, I raised the point that showing any negativity about Israel in North America would be a hard sell, and here comes the big surprise. The government representative who is shepherding us around lamented the fact that Israel wants foreign presenters to accept controversy, but there are few takers.

Obviously, I’ll have more to say on Janana in the context of Israeli drama as a whole.

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