Yoni leads a complicated life for a 12 year old Israeli boy. He struggles to grow into a man’s body before his impending Bar Mitzva. He sells homework to buy body building wonder powder on the sly, and stretches every night on a pull-up bar with heavy weights tied to his legs. His new classmates, older and taller, bully him. Yoni’s dispassionate parents, a pot smoking father and an emotionally absent mother, use him as a go-between. To make matters worse, his cripplingly autistic older brother Tomer – hidden away in a mental institution that suddenly shuts down – returns home. This event brings out every flaw in the family’s foundation and pushes Yoni to the brink. The Flood is a powerful film, told with an accomplished cinematic eye. Yoni’s life, and the life of his parents, are painful to watch at times. They are steeped in a palpable disappointment, compounded by the judgments of the village, but Yoni’s uncommon clout and convincing “beyond his years” mannerisms help make for a harsh yet beautiful story.
The Flood screens this Sunday, April 1 at 7:00 PM at the Ritz East as part of the 16th annual Israeli Film Festival of Philadelphia.