DVD Youth

DVD Youth
DVD Youth
Run time: 107 min
Rating: 6.4
Genres: Drama
Director: Tom Shoval
Writers: Tom Shoval
Stars: Eitan Cunio, David Cunio, Moshe Ivgy
Country: Israel, Germany, France
Release Date: 29 August 2013 (Israel)


  1. I saw this in a film festival recently, and for a directorial debut thought it was a good thriller with assertive direction and a tense plot.

    However – you cannot help but be annoyed and marvelled at all times by the sheer stupidity shown by the two protagonists; it is realistic at times and at other times not. A certain and highly implausible scene on a bus early in the film nearly ruined that sense of realism for me, but otherwise the movie kept everything pretty real in the sense that the two brothers are merely amateurs and hadn't planned things properly. Performances are good, but due to the nature of the story it is difficult to have any empathy with the characters, and you cant but help to chuckle and be relieved over their shortcomings.

    There is some sense of social critique under it all, but (un)fortunately this is never delved too much into in order to fully justify their actions; the director has been less interested in motivations and character background, more interested in minute details of the crime and the act of kidnapping someone, leaving us pondering over the why's until the very end.

  2. 'Youth' is an Israeli film about two criminally-minded brothers. Discovering their parents are in danger of losing their home because of financial troubles, the pair – one of whom has just been enlisted in the Israel Defence Forces – kidnap a local schoolgirl with the intention of ransoming her back to her family. But as the brothers aren't overly blessed with brains, they stage the kidnapping on a Friday – and the girl's Jewish family are observant, which means they won't be answering the telephone (and thus receiving the ransom demand) until after sundown on Saturday (when I lived in Israel I was forever getting caught out by the Sabbath, so it's nice to see two Sabras have the same problem!)

    If this sounds a bit slapstick, it isn't: there's a real sense of menace hanging over this film, from the creepy opening sequence where one of the brothers follows the girl home from school, through the kidnapping sequence itself – one can really appreciate how terrified the girl must be – to the realisation the brothers are amateurs with short fuses so there's a chance the girl may not make it home safely to her family. The fictional brothers are played by real-life siblings: David & Eitan Cunio do a good job, portraying nicely both savagery and, when things start to go wrong, exasperated bewilderment. I found Gita Amely, as the girl, to be tiring but that's probably because her role consisted mainly of grizzling a lot!

  3. I have spent the past weekend in London as part of a film society trip to see a film from the BFI London Film Festival. We could choose a film from three choices, all in the first feature section and my choice was Youth, an Israel-Germany joint production by Israeli director Tom Shoval that takes a look at two brothers who attempt to aid their struggling family through criminal ways: kidnapping a young girl.

    The film is quite uncomfortable at times, but even in its most violent moments it is difficult to feel a real hatred towards the two main characters, largely down to their development as real human beings in a real struggling family. The actors are actually both identical twins in real life, and both give fantastic performances in the film. The for most the time incompetent when it comes to kidnapping, and do not have a clue what to do to help their family, they feel like they are being kept away from the dark reality of the world by their parents and simply want to help.

    It is a very powerful film, and like I said, it feels very real. Eitan and David Cunio are the stars, but the other actors involved are also very good, such as the kidnapped young girl played by Gita Amely. The film poses many moral questions and takes a true look at relationships between brothers and family as a whole, and some Israeli people watching it also commented on its accuracy in portraying the country's situation.

    What was even better was the fact that the director was at the screening and after it had finished he talked about the film and took questions from the audience. This was really interesting an made the viewing a whole lot better, it explained a lot of things and made it feel more personal and put certain scenes into better perspective.

    He had a lot of interesting things to say, one of the things he said was he auditioned loads of random sets of brothers for the main roles and when he eventually decided on these two he wanted to test them out more as the had never acted before, so he asked them to steal something from a supermarket together (which all other parties in on the test) and he was surprised when they were stopped that they never revealed they had been told to do it, not your usual audition for a role.

    Another interesting point he mentioned was in regards to one scene where the two brothers take the kidnapped girl on board a bus, one of the brothers is fully dressed in military uniform with a gun on his lap pointing towards the girl, and the girl has bandages covering her eyes with sunglasses on top. He explained how although to us viewers it might seem unrealistic he actually did the scene without filming as a test on a real bus to see how people would react, and nobody did anything, in fact people felt a lot safer with military people on board. Part of the film is about how the characters themselves feel like, or try to be superheroes, with lots of direct references to some modern American action films with t-shirts worn by the characters. There are quite a lot of funny scenes in the film too, some intentional, some maybe not, but in many of even the most uncomfortable scenes we are able to laugh at some of the actions of the brothers.

  4. This story is about two brothers, Shaul and Yaki (played by the real-life brothers Eitan and David Cunio), who are in need of some extra cash to help their father Moti (Moshe Ivgy), and therefore decide to kidnap a local girl, whose parents allegedly should be rich enough to pay them a handsome ransom.

    One of the brothers has recently joined the Israeli army, so they have to commence this entire kidnapping-ordeal before he's permanently enlisted, and can't help anymore. They won't waste any more time, so they hurry up and abduct their pretty acquaintance Dafna (Gita Amely), and throw her down their cellar. After that, they try to contact her parents, but everything just goes wrong, and it quickly becomes clear that the two boys have no clue about what they're doing.

    It is definitely a good guide for would-be kidnappers, so they know exactly what NOT to do. Even so, the two boys are a couple of charming fellows, despite of their somewhat odd appearances and brute behaviour.

    I saw this film at the Copenhagen Filmfestival (CPH PIX), and I didn't have any expectations going in, so I was pleasantly surprised to find an amusing, but quite serious and uncomfortable story, which entertained the whole way throughout.

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