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Israeli Film 'Greener Pastures' Has a Wryly Comic Storyline and a Fine Cast-Will Be Screened at Winnipeg International Film Festival May 30

by Rhonda Spivak, April 26, 2022

This wryly comic story was nominated for 12 Israeli Ophir Awards, including Best Film,  Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Lead Actor.
 GREENER PASTURES  focuses on  a retiree named Dov (Shlomo Bar-Aba)  a widower, over age 75 who is dismayed that his daughter, who lives out of the country, has moved him to a retirement home, forcing him to leave the house he loves. As a result of privatization, Dov, retired postal worker does not have a pension he can rely on.

Even though he has only been there one week, Dov absolutely hates the retirement community he’s in, and sets his sights on finding a way to buy his house back, such that he can live there until he dies. Dov’s grandson Gidi shows little interest in helping Dov return to his home, but his grandson’s girlfriend Dana (Joy Rieger), a lawyer, provides Dov with  a more sympathetic ear.


In Israel,  pot is illegal in Israel,  all Israeli seniors age 75 or over are eligible automatically  to get medical marijuana through prescription.  A colorful character who is an old pothead, named Yehuda (Doval’e Glickman), lives near Dov, and serves  Dov a cookie laced with marijuana, unbeknownst to Dov. Dov is not interested in smoking cannabis but realizes there is easy money to be made in the sale of medical cannabis to the general public on the black market. By engaging in the sale of marijuana Dov believes he’s can raise the funds he desperately needs to buy back his old house. Yehuda  helps Dov to get his business “rolling” (no pun intended), as does a friend of Dana . Soon, Dov appears to be making headway  towards  raising the funds needed to buy back his home. But then things get complicated, and Dov must stay out of jail. 


A police detective is on to Dov, and the cops close in on  him, Dana wants Dov to cease running his marijuana business. Dov in the meantime is busy forming a romantic liaison with his physician at the retirement home, Ruthie, who is single, and he even takes her to see his old home.  A criminal gangster type named Carmeli enters the story, and Dov finds himself at a crossroads where he has to decide whether he’s willing to risk everything for what really matters to him.

Assaf Abiri and Matan Guggenheim co-wrote and co-directed this  comedy, which has assembled a fine cast. The satiric dialogue blends humor with family drama, thriller and even some romance with a twist at the end. GREENER PASTURES  not only to tackles the issue of cannabis in Israel,  but as well  examines  attitudes toward senior citizens, finding a second chance late in life, and the impact of privatization. It makes for an interesting film.


For tickets to see this film and any others at the Winnipeg International Film Festival, go to:


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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.