A feeling of isolation from the community. A butcher for a father. Surreal visions of the dead and the dying. Tikkun, the newest film from director Avishai Sivan, has all the makings of a David Lynch movie, with one catch: it’s about an Israeli yeshiva student.
Tikkun has been on the festival circuit for the last year, racking up accolades left and right. The New York Times called it “a feverish satire of the conflict between the secular and the sacred” and The Jewish Week praised the film for its “twisted logic and dry wit,” likening it to “a nightmare scripted by Franz Kafka.”
Tikkun, which was shot in black and white and stars a first-time actor, tells the story of a yeshiva student in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood who survives a near-death experience, before his father, a butcher, saves his life. After being pulled from the brink, the young man deals with questions about his religious fervor that he’d never before considered, and he takes part in activities that he’d been taught to shun his whole life. Meanwhile, his father wonders whether his son’s meandering has come as a punishment from God for meddling in his plan.
Judging by a trailer that should be shown in classes on how to make a good trailer (it doesn’t give away the whole plot, leaving the viewer with questions!), Tikkun could be the black and white/Yiddish-and Hebrew-language movie of the year. Tikkun opens on Friday, June 10, in New York City at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and IFC Center (existential dread, just in time for Shavuot!).